More than 400 participants gathered in the city of Zaragoza on 21 November to celebrate the national closing conference of the European Year 2012 in Spain.
The event was held at Aragón’s regional government headquarters with the presence of the Minister of Health, Social Affairs and Equality, Ana Mato, and the President of Aragón, Luisa Fernanda Rudi, and representatives of senior and non-governmental organisations, as well as experts in the fields of active ageing and intergenerational cooperation.
During this European Year, remarked the Minister in her closing speech, “the exchange of ideas between people of all ages was stimulated, creating awareness against age discrimination.”
Ms. Mato also recognised that seniors are becoming the main support of the young and not so young families that are undergoing a difficult financial situation. “With big generosity they help their children to go ahead and show great courage and dedication, that is often not compensated and sometimes even not enough recognised.”
With a special focus on the “Participation of older people in decision making”, the conference included a key note speech by Bernd Marin, Executive Director of the European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research, who presented the first results on the Active Ageing Index, highlighting some interesting data related to Spain such as the outstanding participation of elderly in volunteering activities.
A round table on the contribution of seniors to international projects took place with the participation of Ruth Brand (BAGSO, Germany), Andres Vikat (Chief of the Population Activities Unit at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe), Dirk Jarré (EURAG) and Inmaculada Arpa Camós (DG Employment Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission).
The State Secretary for Social Services and Equality for the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality, Juan Manuel Moreno Bonilla, made a balance of the European Year in Spain. A total of 44 official activities have been organised throughout these months by IMSERSO (the National Coordinator of the EY2012), and more than 200 activities were held by other senior-related organisations. The website created by the national authorities to promote the Year has also been quite a success, with more than 500,000 visitors.
An overview of the results of different projects involving social inclusion took place in another session.
The event included an exhibition of relevant studies, publications, magazines, brochures and videos related to the European Year, as well as the best vignettes sent in to the “Much to contribute, much to share” cartoon competition. The winners were awarded prizes at the conference closure by the Minister and the President of Aragón.
Picture gallery of the event.
Click here to browse through a selection of EY2012-related initiatives in Spain.
Fore more information about the European Year 2012 in Spain you may visit this website.