Joensuu, Pohjois Karjala (FIN), 20 March 2012
Active and Healthy Ageing is one of the Assembly of European Regions’ (AER) key political priorities and part of its commitments towards the European Year 2012. Today’s high-level conference on “Perspectives on Ageing” marks the launch of a series of actions that AER has planned for 2012, which include capacity-building events for regional politicians, facilitating knowledge-exchange and supporting the regions to invest future cohesion policy funds in this field. AER brings in the regional perspective to this conference, which focuses on health and long-term care, equal access to quality care, multi-sectoral cooperation and empowering the patients in the development of products and services.
“Ageing is an achievement. We should not look at ageing only in terms of the increased burden on our systems and services, we should also see the opportunities it opens up to us. There is a whole new market for tools and services that regions can and should tap into,” stated Karsten Uno PETERSEN, County Councillor of Syddanmark (DK), newly elected interim President of AER’s Committee on ‘Social policy and Public health’. “And we need to include citizens in the process. They are the only ones who can tell us what they really need.”
AER can count on its ‘e-he@lth’ network and Working group ‘Equal Europe for People with Disabilities’ to take forward the organisation’s commitment to boost innovation in health and social services and to raise awareness about the benefits of developing inclusive societies for all. Focusing on the deployment of ICT to support integrated care and independent living and the creation of accessible societies for all, these networks are also contributing to AER’s vision of active and healthy ageing.
AER also contributes to the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on ‘Active and healthy ageing’, a Commission-led initiative that aims to tackle demographic change by tapping into the growth potential of innovation in the field of health. The ambition of the EIP coincides with AER’s objectives to push for the large-scale deployment of innovative solutions across regions in Europe and to align the expertise and resources of all relevant stakeholders, ranging from public authorities to academia and the private sector, with the citizen, sometimes a patient, in the middle. AER’s commitment under the EIP is to build capacity among regional politicians and offer them the tools to implement sustainable innovative models for the organisation and delivery of health and social care.
All actions implemented by AER in the context of the European Year 2012 can be found at: www.aer.eu
The Assembly of European Regions (AER – aer.eu) is the largest independent network of regions in wider Europe. Bringing together more than 250 regions from 35 countries and 16 interregional organisations, AER is the political voice of its members and a forum for interregional co-operation.
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