The recently published Green Paper on Ageing by the European Commission is intended to kickstart a broader discussion on the future of Europe and on the effects of demographic change on people’s way of lives. The European public has the opportunity to have their say on issues linked to ageing via the below EC link until April 21, 2021:
The green paper highlights the need for new approaches in adapting to demographic change in the light of the ‘twin green and digital transition’ as well as of the ongoing pandemic.
While demographic change brings along a number of challenges, which need to be properly addressed, there are also plenty of opportunities to create new jobs in the ‘silver economy’, improve digital skills or build a new social instructure for an ageing Europe. To this regard, the EU Green Paper on Ageing recognises the economic opportunities offered by the Silver Economy, which is expected to grow by about 5% a year from EUR 3.7 trillion in 2015 to EUR 5.7 trillion in 2025.
The AAL Programme would like to highlight and draw the attention to a number of key topics mentioned in the green paper, such as:
- Ageing as a life course approach
Ageing is not just about old people, but concerns us all at every step in our lives. Viewing life through the lense of traditional stages of life is a too narrow approach given the longer life expectancy today, allowing for different planning of the various life stages. The topic is addressed by a number of questions such as questions 1,3 and 6.
- Intergenerational approach on ageing
Intergenerational solidarity, collaboration and understanding are important ingredients to adapt our societies to demographic change. Relevant questions can be found in questions 4, 6, 11 and 17.
- Lifelong learning to accompany ageing
In a fast moving world, it is of critical importance to foster lifelong learning at all ages. This ensures a continuous involvement of all ages in society and supports active & healthy ageing. Questions 2 and 3 refer to this important element.
- Digitalization supporting active & healthy ageing
Technological support plays an important role in preventing loneliness, fostering social inclusion and inclusiveness in society; topics at the heart of AAL’s mission and activities. Questions 7 and 15 address this issue.