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An intergenerational “living puzzle” launches the European Year in The Netherlands

02/04/2012 An intergenerational “living puzzle” launches the European Year in The Netherlands

Gerdi Verbeet, President of the House of Representatives, launched officially the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations in The Netherlands on March 28th.

Joined by four citizens from different generations she participated in The Hague in a “living puzzle”, where the pieces ended up merging, as a symbol of solidarity between generations. The participants in the puzzle were: Joke van Althuis, born in 1932, Henk Moeniralam (1953), Astrid de Winther (1970) and Emiel Elbers (1993).

The official opening was followed by a network meeting in the House of Europe, where Andy Klom, Head of the European Commission’s Dutch Representation, and Sjerp van der Vaart, Head of the European Parliament Information Office in The Netherlands, presented the objectives of the year. "Seeing all the major stakeholders in The Netherlands present here today in Europe House makes it clear how important and relevant the topic of this European Year is. I´m very grateful for all your mostly voluntary efforts to make this Year a success!," said Klom.

MEP Lambert Van Nistelrooij delivered the keynote speech, and  urged organisations to make use of the various European Programmes, such as Ambient Assistant Living, and cited as an example the City of Groningen and its Healthy Ageing Programme.

The "Get Involved!” afternoon in Europe House included a presentation of good practice active ageing examples throughout The Netherlands, a debate and a networking opportunity for all civil organisations, social institutions and major Dutch stakeholder organisations present.

Pictures of the event are available here.