UIC Celebrates Europe Day with Roundtable Session on Active Ageing

10/05/12
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On Wednesday, 9 May 2012, the UIC celebrated Europe Day with a roundtable session organized by the UIC Charlemagne Institute for European Studies (ICEE). This year's events formed part of the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations

UIC Celebrates Europe Day with Roundtable Session on Active Ageing

The Schuman
Declaration of 9 May 1950, a proposal by French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman
to pool French and German coal and steel resources marked the beginning of what
is now the European Union. When introducing the participants in the roundtable
session on active ageing and solidarity, Enrique Banús,
the director of the UIC Charlemagne Institute for European Studies (ICEE),
said, “Europe Day commemorates these beginnings”. The roundtable participants
were Marcelino Cabrera, a member
of the representative office of the European Commission in Barcelona, and
lawyer Jordi Muñoz.

Cabrera spoke about the future consequences of the increase in life
expectancy. He said, “Our only option is a complete overhaul of the pension
system. At the moment there are huge numbers of people receiving unemployment
and pensions but very few employed people paying into the system”. He went on
to say that, while Europeans are generally not overly concerned, it remains a
problem. He stated that various ideas are being developed to tackle the
situation, including active ageing and progressive retirement schemes, which
propose that older people continue some form of activity, depending on their
circumstances.

Next,
Muñoz
explained some of the problems experienced by older people, such as abuse and
financial difficulties. To overcome these difficulties, the speaker proposed
some of the projects that are under way at European and local level, such as
house sharing between the elderly and young people and documents in which the
elderly indicate who can take care of them and when to help prevent abuse. The
speaker concluded by saying, “In order to achieve active ageing in the future,
we must raise awareness about the future among young people”.