The European Commission is expected to publish on June 17, 2020, a Report on the Impact of Demographic Change to map demographic changes in the EU and take stock of the challenges related to these transformations. The Commission will later propose a Green Paper on Ageing – for which the publication planned for late 2020 will probably be postponed to the beginning of 2021. The Green Paper on Ageing will explore possible solutions to improve the quality of life of older generations. Dubravka Šuica, European Commission Vice-President and Commissioner responsible for Democracy & Demography, is in charge of these two documents.
The highest concentrations of people over 65 can be observed in rural, mountainous and sparsely population areas. In May, Euromontana therefore met with a member of Dubravka Šuica’s cabinet to discuss the situation of mountain areas and propose innovative solutions that can help increasing the quality of life of active, vulnerable and dependant older adults.
Given not only the demographic forecast but also the recent Covid-19 crisis, Euromontana believes mountain areas can be real testbeds to implement integrated strategies for the well-being of older adults through rural development, cohesion, growth, innovation and social policies.
Euromontana therefore shared with the cabinet of Šuica its recommendations for efficient and inclusive ageing policies by:
- Ensuring accessible and adequate healthcare services, including by encouraging more practioners to stay or move to mountain areas, developing telemedicine and telemonitoring and proposing housing offers for vulnerable and dependent older adults that also take advantage of mountain areas’ natural assets.
- Building regional strategies to improve older people’s quality of life, for instance by supporting the Silver Economy sector which has a great potential both to assist older generations and to create jobs and strengthen social cohesion – as demonstrated by good practices collected by the Interreg Europe project SILVER SMEs.
- Developing adapted transport offers (increased on-demand offer, stronger multimodality for instance) as well as ‘reversed mobility’ services to overcome the issue of mobility in mountain areas, including for active, vulnerable, and dependent people.
- Stimulating a mindset change and showcasing the important role of older generations for society, in particular in rural communities, and encouraging older people’s participation in local initiatives, social innovations and intergenerational activities.
To read our detailed recommendations, please see “Ageing in mountain areas – Contributions of Euromontana for the Green Paper on Ageing“.
9 June 2020