On the eve of the launch of the European Year on Active Ageing and solidarity between Generations, the EY2012 Coalition presents its joint Manifesto and Road Map and urges all relevant actors at local, national and European level to seize the momentum of the European Year 2012 to commit to creating an age-friendly European Union that will allow everyone to live, learn, work and age with dignity.
Persons with disabilities get old and many older persons fall within the group of persons with disabilities. Persons with disabilities and elderly people experience discrimination and too often are either labelled as a “burden” to society or excluded from it. Equality, participation and inclusion in society are common priorities that EDF can pursue together with all the others NGOs who are part of the coalition for the EY 2012
The rise in life expectancy can offer many opportunities and can help address today’s societal challenges. However, this is only true if we create the appropriate environment to support active and healthy ageing and greater solidarity and cooperation between the generations.
“Creating an Age-Friendly European Union means fostering solidarity between generations and enabling the active participation and involvement of all age groups in society while providing them with adequate support and protection. This cannot be achieved through isolated initiatives. It requires a wide commitment and common vision”, says Marjan Sedmak, AGE President, speaking on behalf of the EY2012 Coalition ahead of the European Year’s official launch on January 18th-19th in Copenhagen.
Supporting Ms Parent’s statement, the results of the recent Euro barometer survey on Active Ageing reveal that most EU citizens acknowledge the important role played by people aged 55+ in key areas of society, recognizing that many of them wish to remain active as they age.
“The EY2012 for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations is starting in a very difficult economic context,” states Anne-Sophie Parent, Secretary-General of AGE Platform Europe. “This unprecedented crisis makes it more urgent than ever to fundamentally review the way our society functions and to do our utmost to empower everyone, young and old, to contribute actively in the labour market and in their communities and to live independently for as long as possible”.
Austerity measures hit the most vulnerable in our society hardest and many women over 50 suffer a double form of discrimination, in particular in relation to access to employment, lifelong learning and equality of income and pensions. “Although they represent a fast growing percentage of the population, many older women are likely to be severely affected by austerity measures and pension reforms due to their career breaks linked to their family and caring responsibilities" stressed Louise Richardson, AGE Vice-President. The EY2012 Coalition therefore urges decision-makers to tackle the gender dimension of demographic ageing, which is often underestimated.
In order to achieve their common objective of creating an age-friendly European Union by 2020, the Coalition has issued a Manifesto for an Age-Friendly European Union by 2020 which proposes a number of recommendations to EU policy makers and to stakeholders at both national and local levels. A Stakeholders’ Coalition Roadmap detailing the Coalition’s commitments and proposals for action to meet the goals of the EY2012 will also be presented at the EY2012 launch conference on January 18th-19th.
The Coalition calls for the adoption of a European Strategy on Active Ageing and an age-friendly European Union, which includes:
The EY2012 Coalition is a growing network of stakeholders committed to working together to promote the objectives of the European Year and sharing their common goal of building a society for all ages where everyone is empowered to play an active part in society and enjoy equal rights and opportunities in all stages of their life regardless of age, sex, race or ethnic origin, religion or belief, social or economic status, sexual orientation, physical or mental condition, or need for care.