NEWS:

  • ILC Europe Network launched to help societies address longevity and population ageing in positive and productive ways
  • ILC Europe Network urge the Commission to develop an EU White Paper on Ageing that commits to making European policy and practice work for all ages.

The European Commission must press ahead with plans to respond to the challenges and opportunities of an ageing Europe, argues the newly formed International Longevity Centre-Europe Network (ILC Europe Network).

Members of ILC Europe Network have today written to Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, arguing that it is vital that the EU Green Paper “should not now be put on a shelf to gather dust, but instead be a step towards a concerted European response to ageing”.

ILC Europe Network, launching this week, is represented by academics, practitioners, civil society representatives and business leaders with a focus on helping societies address longevity and population ageing in positive and productive ways. ILC Europe Network works under the auspices of the International Longevity Centre Global Alliance (ILC-GA).

The inaugural ILC Europe Network meetings have been attended by 50 experts from across Europe (from Finland to Germany and Poland to Spain). The Network will be working together to organise policy and research events, share good practice, and engage with policy-makers across the continent.

Welcoming the launch of ILC Europe Network, Margaret Gillis, incoming Co-President of the ILC Global Alliance, said:

“ILC Europe network will help the ILC Global Alliance strengthen our networks across Europe. It is vital that the expertise in the network is heard by policymakers across Europe”.

Silvia Perel Levin, who represents the ILC Global Alliance in Geneva(1), said:

“Strengthening the voice of ILC in Europe will help us influence global policymakers in Geneva Interacting with all UN agencies, human rights mechanisms and representatives of governments in Geneva is crucial to ensure that ageing is adequately included in all programmes with a human rights based approach. Our presence highlights the importance and urgency to listen to the voices of older persons and the organisations that represent them.”

David Sinclair, Director of ILC-UK, added:

“The EU Green Paper on Ageing could help the whole of Europe develop a coherent programme of policy work which helps us all adapt to increasing longevity. Politicians across Europe must head the evidence gathered by the European Commission and develop plans which respond to the challenges outlined. We are delighted to be a founding member of the ILC Europe Network and will be continuing to urge action by policymakers and politicians.“

Prof A. Mark Clarfield of ILC Israel and a geriatrician at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev enthusiastically welcomed the creation of this Network, which will strengthen relationships across Europe and seek to influence policy. Professor Clarfield said:

“There is so much we can learn from each other by comparing how each of our countries deals with the joys and challenges of an ageing world. I very much look forward to participating with colleagues across the continent for the betterment of older persons.”

Notes

If you would like more information on ILC Europe Network, please email David Sinclair.

Read the letter in full here.

Sign up to ILC Europe Network Newsletter here.

Follow @ILC_Europe on Twitter here.

References

(1) Geneva is home of the second HQ of the UN and the HQ of several UN programmes and specialised agencies, such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and all the human rights mechanisms. The Human Rights Council (HRC) meets three times a year for three to four weeks each time. There are multiple opportunities to promote the rights of older persons particularly at the September session when older persons are on the agenda and the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons presents her annual thematic and country visits reports.

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