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01/06/2007 - Submitted by: Argyro Kazaki

This communication constitutes the contribution of the European Commission to the 2nd World Assembly on Ageing organised in Madrid on April 8-12 2002, by the United Nations and the Spanish Government. It represents an input from the European Commission to the international debate on the new International Plan of Action on Ageing to be adopted in Madrid. As such it is intended to support the efforts of the Belgian and Spanish presidencies to develop a common EU position on the plan.

When the first International Plan of Action on Ageing was agreed in Vienna in 1982, it was almost exclusively for the most developed countries that ageing was emerging as an important concern. Since then, the ageing process has begun to touch several parts of the developing world also. In the 21st century rapid ageing will progressively become a global phenomenon. The European Commission agrees with the United Nations that a greater global awareness will be necessary in order to meet the challenges for all our societies raised by the ageing process. International co-operation can improve the ability of countries to respond to these challenges. Policies that take due account of the ageing challenges in the future have to be prepared now.

With this Communication the Commission proposes to share the experience from cooperation on ageing issues at EU level, which illustrates the need for a policy approach encompassing the economic, employment and social dimensions of ageing. The Commission is fully aware of the diversity of the ageing challenges across the world and that its experience cannot necessarily be transposed to other contexts. Nevertheless, it is convinced that its experience can be used to develop ideas. Responding to ageing issues in the world calls for a collective effort of international collaboration to promote sustainable development at global level.

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