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Green Paper on Ageing - Mainstreaming Ageing in Public Policies



On January 27 the European Commission presented a Green Paper to launch a broad policy debate on the challenges and opportunities of Europe's ageing society. It sets out the impact of this pronounced demographic trend across our economy and society and invites the public to express their views on how to respond to this in a public consultation, which will run for 12 weeks.


The Green Paper frames the debate on ageing by setting out the speed and scale of the demographic changes in our society, as well as the impact this has across our policies and the questions we need to ask ourselves in response. This covers everything from promoting healthy lifestyles and lifelong learning to strengthening health and care systems to cater for an older population. It underlines the need to bring more people into the workforce, highlights the opportunities for job creation and looks at the impact of ageing on our careers, wellbeing, pensions, social protection and productivity.


The Green Paper takes a life-cycle approach, reflecting the universal impact of ageing on all generations and stages in life. In doing so, it highlights the importance of striking the right balance between sustainable solutions for our welfare systems, and strengthening intergenerational solidarity.


Over the coming decades, the number of older people in the EU will increase. Today, 20% of the population is above 65, and by 2070, it is projected to be 30%. Meanwhile, the share of people above 80 is expected to more than double, reaching 13% by 2070. Similarly, the number of people potentially in need of long-term care is expected to increase from 19.5m in 2016 to 23.6m in 2030 and 30.5m in 2050 (EU-27).


The public consultation is open to interested citizens and organisations from all Member States until April the 21st. The results of the consultation will help to identify the support needed for people, their regions and communities. Based on the results, the Commission will consider possible policy responses to reinforce efforts in Member States and regions to address the issues around ageing.


For more information on green paper and how to participate in the consultation, click here





On 12/3/2021, the Council of the European Union approved the Conclusions on Mainstreaming Ageing in Public Policies.


The conclusions invite member states to elaborate and apply initiatives which enable older people across the EU to enjoy their fundamental rights and reach their full potential:


• Elaborate a national Strategic Framework for Mainstreaming Ageing in which guidelines and recommendations are given on how to maximise the benefits, to deal with the potential risks and to address the main challenges of the increasing longevity of the population;
• Promote coherent, coordinated and transversal public policies in order to respond to the complexity of the challenges and opportunities that longevity presents, allowing smooth transitions over the life cycle;
• Ensure a transversal and lifelong approach to longevity, based on human rights, taking into account gender equality aspects and involving all relevant stakeholders in the public, private and third sectors as well as the target groups. Envisage an approach that encompasses the needs of people of all ages, inter alia considering that old age well-being starts early in life;
• Improve access to and quality of healthcare, long-term care, including by developing and ensuring access to services that provide older-person-centred and integrated care, and fostering enhanced integration between health and social services to maintain and improve older persons’ physical and cognitive capacities;
• Continue to modernise social protection systems and ensure inter alia the balance between adequate coverage of all age-related risks, financial sustainability and intergenerational fairness, thus ensuring dignity throughout the life-course;
• Consider alternative and more flexible retirement pathways providing incentives for a longer active working life;
• Look for innovative and creative mechanisms to promote solidarity and intergenerational interaction, through fostering volunteering among older and younger people in order to avoid loneliness and isolation, and to combat all forms of violence, including gender-based and domestic violence, abuse and neglect against older people;
• Commit to foster active and healthy ageing, and full integration of older people into society and into the community;
• Continue to close the gaps in the protection of the rights of older people, where applicable, and to combat ageism and discrimination on the basis of age beyond employment, notably in the areas of education and training, access to goods and services and social protection;
• Adapt social responses to the specific individual needs of older people, whenever possible, and according to their wishes;
• Develop a constructive culture towards the diverse groups of older people, fostering a positive image of them, keeping in mind their heterogeneous needs, opportunities and preferences, in order to promote an inclusive society that does not segregate, discriminate or spread prejudice against older people (gerontophobia);

• See more in Related files


On the Eurostat page  you can find interesting statistics for all EU countries.


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Related files

Last modification date: 1/4/2021