2012, European Year for Active Ageing

The European Commission has presented a Proposal of Decision in order to designate 2012 as European Year for Active Ageing. The initiative aims to help create better job opportunities and working conditions for the growing numbers of older people in Europe, help them take an active role in society and encourage healthy ageing.

The proposed European Year for Active Ageing would encourage and support the efforts of Member States, their regional and local authorities, social partners and civil society to promote active ageing and do more to mobilise the potential of the baby boom cohorts.

The European Year for Active Ageing, whose proposal is the reflection of the opinions gathered in pubic consultation carried out in June 2009, should be seen as the highlight of a major effort spanning the period 2011-2014, during which the EU would focus many of its programmes and policies on the issue of active ageing and put in place a framework in which new initiatives and partnerships supporting active ageing at all levels (Member State, regional, local, social partners, civil society) can be encouraged and publicised.

Activities proposed within the European Year for Active Ageing

  • In 2011, public authorities, social partners and civil society organisations at all levels would be encouraged to commit themselves to specific goals related to active ageing; the focus would be on achievements during the European Year. The goals would be documented on a European website which would then become the website for the European Year and would also serve as a tool for monitoring and evaluation.
  • In 2012, the focus of the European Year would be on starting to implement the commitments made during 2011, on raising awareness among the general public, publicising these initiatives through media activities and the involvement of other multipliers. Results of active ageing projects funded under existing budget lines and programmes would be presented.

Active ageing includes creating more opportunities for older people to continue working, to stay healthy longer and to continue to contribute to society in other ways, for example through volunteering needs to be supported by a wide range of policies at all levels of governance. The EU has a role to play in areas such as employment, social protection and inclusion, public health, information society and transport, but the primary role is for national, regional and local governments, as well as civil society and the social partners.