European Commission's Recommendation on "More Years, Better Lives - The Potential and Challenges of Demographic Change"

On 11 July 2011 the European Commission has adopted a Recommendation on the Joint Programming Initiative "More Years – Better Lives, the challenges and opportunities of demographic change".

The European Commission calls on EU Member States to develop and pursue a common vision on how to coordinate research at EU level in the field of ageing.

This was the message of a Recommendation just adopted by the Commission entitled "More years, better lives - the potential and challenges of demographic change". The Recommendation urges Member States to participate in a Joint Programming Initiative on ageing populations in research areas such as how to retain people in the labour market, how to help older people remain active for as long as possible, in good health and with a better quality of life and how to make our future care systems sustainable.

The Recommendation calls on Member States to include the following actions, as part of their research agenda on ageing:

  • identifying and exchanging information on relevant national programmes and research activities as well as exchanging best practices, methodologies and guidelines
  • identifying areas or research activities that would benefit from joint coordination or pooling of resources
  • considering the changing needs of elderly people when defining the objectives for ageing research programmes
  • sharing, where appropriate, existing research infrastructures or developing new facilities such as coordinated databanks or the development of models for studying ageing processes
  • encouraging better collaboration between public and private sectors and between different research activities and business sectors related to demographic change and population ageing
  • creating networks between centres dedicated to demographic change and population ageing research.

The Joint Programming Initiative "More years, better lives, the challenges and opportunities of demographic change" will develop its common strategic research agenda on the ageing population over the coming months with the assistance of prominent experts. This agenda will then be implemented through joint actions and projects involving a substantial commitment of funding and participation from involved countries. The European Commission will provide financial support for the coordination of the initiative; which is expected to start delivering concrete results after 2012, such as science based recommendations for adapting pension systems based not only on age, as is currently the case, but on people's capacity to work.

More information: