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The closing event of the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations 2012 was held on December 10th in Nicosia, organised by the Cyprus EU Presidency.
In his opening address László Andor, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, said that the European Year has been an important milestone in the efforts to support the development of active ageing policies and initiatives. He also admitted to be “impressed by the commitment and innovative ideas shown by hundreds of organisations, companies and individuals across Europe who have increased older people's opportunities to keep working and participate in the economy and society”. “It makes me confident that we can succeed in tackling the challenges of population ageing. I encourage you to keep up your efforts after the Year is over", said Mr. Andor.
The European Year 2012 has mobilised a wide range of stakeholders across Europe to take action with the aim of creating better opportunities for active ageing and strengthening solidarity between generations. It gave rise to hundreds of new initiatives and events at European, national, regional or local level dealing with employment, social participation and independent living of older people.
In addition, the EU Member States have developed together with the Commission the "Guiding Principles for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations" which were endorsed by the EU's Social Affairs Ministers on 6 December 2012. The Guiding Principles are addressed to Member States, regions and cities, companies and other relevant organisations which have a role to play in further improving the conditions for active ageing over the coming years.
At the closing conference, a new Active Ageing Index (AAI) was presented for the first time to the public. The AAI was developed in a joint project between the European Commission and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). The index will help the EU Member States to identify challenges and unrealised potentials and to monitor progress in the area of active ageing.
The European Year 2012 for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations has aimed at raising awareness of these issues and promoted measures that create more and better opportunities for older people to remain active and independent and to ensure genuine two-way solidarity between generations.
Many Member States used the political momentum created by the European Year 2012 for launching important policy initiatives. Here are summaries of some of those initiatives:
Click here to see a video of the panel debate “Building on the achievements of the European Year 2012: What has been achieved and what is the way forward?”, with the participation of Kathleen Lynch, Minister for Disability, Equality, Mental Health and Older People of Ireland, and Sotiroula Charalambous, Minister of Labour and Social Insurance of Cyprus.
This short film encapsulates the achievements of the European Year 2012, which mobilised thousands of people all across the EU.