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European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations 2012

16-01-2012 13:45:00

The European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations was marked with a conference in Copenhagen on 18-19 January 2012.

Are you concerned about ageing? About your place in society when you turn 60, 70 or 80?

Life does not end at 60, and society acknowledges that senior citizens have much to offer. This is what active ageing is all about – getting more out of life and staying in good health. This is important both in the labour market, at home and in society.

Staying active and getting more out of life for longer is an advantage both for the individual and for society as a whole.

2012 is the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations. The Year gives us reason to reflect on the fact that the Europeans live longer than ever before and, at the same time, consider how to get the most of out of the extra years of life.

Denmark holds the Presidency of the Council of the EU in the first six months of 2012 and opens the Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations with a conference in Copenhagen on 18-19 January 2012.

Europeans live longer and become healthier

Europe is facing a demographic challenge. By 2017, there will be fewer young people working than there will be pensioners, and the number of people above the age of 65 is growing.

However, the Europeans are not just living longer – they are also healthier than ever before. As such, the European year for active ageing also provides an opportunity to cast light on the range of options resulting from the demographic development. The demographic development is more than just a challenge; it is also a unique opportunity to highlight the many resources and experiences that senior citizens have.

Active ageing provides opportunities

Active ageing and a good health give European senior citizens the opportunity to:

  • Remain active in the labour market for longer
  • Keep playing an active role in society for longer
  • Be healthy and independent

Active ageing is also a determining factor for maintaining solidarity between generations in society. Senior citizens have much to offer younger generations – and the other way round.

The challenge for politicians, businesses and other public and private actors is to improve the access to active ageing for all age groups. It must be possible to live a healthy and independent life and be an active participant in the community, including the labour market, the educational system and civil society.

The European year is to increase the attention to these challenges and the opportunities that follow.

The opening conference on Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations

The focus at the opening conference 18.-19. January 2012 was on the options that active ageing and solidarity between generations provide for the individual and for society.

The recurrent theme for the conference was innovation and innovative solutions and at the conference, a number of presentations showed, through good examples, how various European countries work with active ageing. The conference was thus intended to inspire the participants to work in new ways and use methods to promote the active life of seniors in society and in the labour market.

Read the Presidency summary of the Conference 

Watch the video from the Conference


Simone Heinecke, Ministry of Employment
Tel. +45 72 20 50 85, email: