Participation of older people in society

EESC opinion: Participation of older people in society

Key points

In its joint message to decision-makers at the different levels, but also to stakeholders and other involved parties, the EESC recommends that:

  • the focus be put on the capacity and contribution of older people and not on their chronological age, and that governments, NGOs and the media highlight these elements in positive statements;
  • support be given for the active participation of all age groups in society and to greater  solidarity and cooperation between and within generations;
  • governments and statutory agencies make a positive commitment to the active participation of older people in decision-making and to their role in communities;
  • governments work with appropriate partners to eliminate any barriers that prevent older people from fully participating in society;
  • all stakeholders continue to develop an approach that emphasises life-long learning for individual older people, employers and communities;
  • governments ensure the digital inclusion and training of older people;
  • older people stand for election, vote and take part as board members in companies, public authorities and NGOs;
  • the contribution of informal care givers and recipients be recognised and their respective rights and responsibilities properly supported;
  • older people be encouraged to volunteer in accordance with good practice guidelines;
  • it be made possible for older workers to stay in employment until the statutory retirement age and beyond, if they so wish;
  • employers adapt the working environment and find contractual arrangements to meet the needs of older workers; and that
  • older people be recognised as consumers and that businesses be encouraged to produce goods and services that respond to the needs of an ageing society.