More than 300 people gathered in Copenhagen on December 4th to celebrate the National Closing Conference of the European Year 2012 in Denmark. Held at the Hotel Scandic, the event was organised by the ministries of Employment, Health, and Social Affairs and Integration, in cooperation with the European Commission Representation and the European Parliament Information Office in Denmark.
© Charlotte Riddervold
Hosted by the journalist Trine Sick, the conference included several lectures around the topic “Active in life - Generations meeting” and the cheerful performances of the chorus of senior men Mandskoret Djursland and the theatre group C:ntact, an independent organisation dedicated to ethnic, social, and cultural integration.
Ageing researcher Henning Kirk talked about what means getting old from a medical perspective, while Lis Puggaard, from the University of Southern Denmark, explained the benefits of an active ageing and why people in Denmark are getting older in better shape. “It’s probably because for many years Denmark has implemented initiatives such as preventive help at homes, falls prevention, physical activity and others”, she said.
Jakob Jensen, Chief of the Danish Agency for Labour Retention and International Recruitment, addressed the issue of seniors in the work market and how the crisis is affecting them. Karen Marie Fiirgaard, HR consultant from Aarhus municipality, shared some experiences about intergenerational learning initiatives.
One of the highlights of the day was when Karen Haekkerup, Minister for Social Affairs and Integration, and Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Europe Regional Director, announced the winners of the City of All Generations Awards: the municipalities of Nakskov, Skanderborg and Frederiksberg. The competitions, organised in the framework of the European Year 2012, aimed to find the most age-friendly Danish city.
Continuing with the theme of the age-friendly cities, Anne Mette Boye, from the Aarhus School of Architecture, gave a lecture about the trends in urban development and the need to accommodate the environment to the needs of people according to their age.
Fritz von Nordheim Nielsen, Deputy Head of Unit at the DG Employment of the European Commission, expressed this satisfaction for the success of the European Year and the fact that the “idea of active ageing has really been cemented as a concept for how Europeans can adapt their lifestyles to the new opportunities in a society with an increasingly higher age and an amended population pyramid”.
The conference ended with a panel debate about Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations with the participation of Bjarne Hastrup (DaneAge), Signe Bo (Danish Youth Council), MEP Ole Christensen, Poul Erik Tindbaek (Aarhus Municipality), Lis Puggaard (University of Southern Denmark) and Per Larsen (National Council for Children).
Astrid Krag, Minister of Health and Prevention, closed the ceremony reminding the audience about the importance of building bridges between old and young.
Picture gallery of the event.
Click here to browse through a selection of EY2012-related initiatives in Denmark.
Fore more information about the European Year 2012 in Denmark you may visit this website.