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European Year for Active Ageing (2012)

The launch of the 2012 European Year shall ensure that older people stay longer in the labour market, and remain healthy, active and autonomous for as long as possible. The European Union (EU) faces rapid demographic change and must respond to the impact of the ageing population on public finances and social protection. The initiatives taken to promote active ageing shall help in meeting these challenges.


Decision No 940/2011/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 September 2011 on the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations (2012) (Text with EEA relevance).


The 2012 European Year acts as a framework to promote active ageing and solidarity between generations. The European Union (EU) faces a rapidly ageing population and decreasing birth rate.

It is therefore necessary to improve employment opportunities and working conditions for older workers, but also to improve their inclusion in society and to encourage healthy ageing. The actions carried out take account of equal treatment between people and gender equality.

Objectives of the European Year

The EU encourages and supports initiatives by the public authorities of its Member States, whether they take place at national, regional or local level. The social partners, actors in civil society and entreprises are also encouraged to carry out actions to promote solidarity and cooperation between generations.

The activities organised at European level and in the EU countries shall:

  • raise awareness among the general public of the importance of older persons’ participation in society and the economy;
  • stimulate debate, exchange of information and mutual learning between participating countries in order to promote good practice and cooperation;
  • offer a framework for commitment and concrete action to develop activities and innovative solutions, but also to set new long-term policy objectives;
  • combat age discrimination, particularly with regard to employability.


The European Year is open to participation by EU Member States, candidate countries and countries of the Western Balkans and the European Economic Area (EEA). Actions may also be organised in cooperation with competent international organisations.

In order to ensure that the activities are properly coordinated, each participating State shall appoint a national coordinator. In addition, the Commission shall be responsible for coordinating the Year at European level during meetings between the national coordinators and the various actors concerned.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Decision No 940/2011/EU



OJ L 246 of 23.9.2011

See also

Last updated: 21.10.2011