Job creation and better working conditions for the growing numbers of older people in Europe are just some of the initiatives that will take centre stage next year following a European Parliament vote to designate 2012 as the European Year for Active Ageing. Green MEP for London, Jean Lambert has welcomed the outcome of the vote and has called upon Member States to recognise the significant contribution that older people can make to society.
The European Year for Active Ageing will look to create more opportunities for older people to continue working, to stay healthy longer and to continue to contribute to society by volunteering, reinforced by specific goals so that real achievements can be made during the year itself.
Jean, Co-President of the European Parliament Intergroup on Ageing, said: “Society is awash with negative stereotypes of older generations. All too often, older people are perceived as vulnerable, isolated and as a financial burden weighing down younger generations and challenging sustainable public finances. We must do all we can to turn around this prevailing attitude to ensure that older people are treated with the respect they deserve while meeting the needs they have.
“The European Year for Active Ageing presents Member States with a real opportunity to recognise and build upon the indispensable contribution that older people make to society as well as foster intergenerational solidarity. With determination and perseverance, we can ensure that 2012 leaves a lasting legacy of support for, and from, older people for years to come.”