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Ageing well in the information society: The Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) Programme

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Ageing well in the information society: The Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) Programme

European Union (EU) Member States are faced with an ageing population and its consequences on stability and economic competitiveness. The Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) Joint Programme supports the development of new technologies that contribute to the social inclusion of older people and allow them to stay active for longer.


Decision N° 742/2008/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 July 2008 on the Community’s participation in a research and development programme undertaken by several Member States aimed at enhancing the quality of life of older people through the use of new information and communication technologies (Text with EEA relevance).

The Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) Joint Programme was set up on the initiative of several Member States to encourage research and development concerning the ageing of the population and the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs).

The programme is aimed at applied research for the development of products and services to enhance autonomy, employability and participation of older people in society.

The European Community is participating in the AAL Joint Programme which has been undertaken by several Member States within the meaning of Article 169 of the Treaty. It is co-financing activities of research, development and innovation through the ICT initiative of the Specific Programme 'Cooperation' implementing the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Development (FP7).

The European Union (EU) Member states participating in the programme are: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Spain, France, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, the United Kingdom, Slovenia and Sweden.

In addition, some third countries, Israel, Norway and Switzerland, are participating in the programme by carrying out joint activities.

The States undertake to contribute to funding the programme. They must respect the Community regulations concerning State aid and intellectual property. They are, moreover, subject to transversal principles of scientific excellence, ethics, gender equality and contribution to sustainable development.

Implementation of the programme

The AAL Association is the body responsible for executing the programme. It has been created as an international non-profit association according to Belgian law. Its General Assembly is the decision-making body for the programme. The Commission participates in its meetings as an observer member.

In line with the general agreement and the financial agreements that it has concluded with the Commission, the AAL Association is responsible for:

  • preparing annual work programmes, procedures for calls for proposals and the selection and monitoring of projects;
  • the integration of national programmes in scientific, administrative and financial domains;
  • managing the Community’s financial contribution and in particular its transfer to national agencies managing the programme.

The national agencies will be responsible for receiving and allocating national financial contributions.

Monitoring and evaluation of the programme

The Commission and the European Court of Auditors will monitor the sound administration of the AAL Association. In addition, if the programme’s performance is not satisfactory or if national contributions are not paid, the Commission may withdraw its funding.

The results of the programme will be presented annually by the AAL Association, and also as part of FP7. The Commission will present two reports evaluating the programme to the Council and to the European Parliament, at an intermediary stage and then at the end of the programming period.


The EU must take advantage of the extended life expectancy of its citizens and transform this demographic challenge into an opportunity. The ageing of the population must be considered in relation to the objectives for growth and employment in the Renewed Lisbon Strategy.


Entry into force

Transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Decision 742/2008/EC



OJ L 201 of 30.7.2008

See also

Last updated: 18.02.2009