It is essential to continue the projects launched this year in the Czech Republic in order to eliminate stereotypes about ageing and to keep on inspiring seniors to live actively. These are two of the key messages delivered by authorities and other stakeholders at the National Closing Conference of the European Year 2012 held on December 11th in Prague’s Brevnov Monastery.
“Our ambition has never been to resolve the issue of ageing population; merely to open space for discussion about this topic. Seniors now represent the 16% of our population. This ratio will continue rising and it is out of the question to exclude these people from the labour market. Countries that decide to solve this problem effectively will gain an advantage over the rest,” said the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Ludmila Müllerová, at her key note speech.
Mrs. Müllerová also presented a National Action Plan for 2013–2017 aimed at promoting active ageing and senior employment, which she intends to launch in January 2013. “Lets all try to face ageing in a more active way”, she appealed.
Jan Michal, Head of the European Commission Delegation in the Czech Republic, described the Year as a success. “This European Year had two main objectives: to raise public awareness of ageing and to remind people that it is possible to be active at any stage of one’s life. I would wish the European Year to become an inspiration for companies to create the so-called silver economy, in other words to help senior citizens participate in creating economic growth,” he said.
However, it was noted during the conference that work still needs to be done to remove stereotypes in the Czech Republic. “Up to 57% of our society still has a rather negative view of people over 55, which is considerably above the average in the EU,” said Monika Šimůnková, Government Commissioner for Human Rights.
Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Jan Dobeš presented some of the projects implemented in 2012 and emphasized the importance of age-management in companies. “While in the Czech Republic there are currently 1.7 million people above 65 years of age, by 2050 there will be about 3 million. And in 40 years, up to a third of our population will be of senior age”, he remarked.
The conference also honoured the Czech national winners of the European Year 2012 Awards. To end the ceremony, a symbolic baton was given to a representative of the Office of the Government who will coordinate the European Year 2013, dedicated to promote active citizenship.
Attendees to the event also enjoyed a performance of a senior dance group and the photograph exhibition “Give and take!”, focusing on the theme of active ageing and solidarity.
Picture gallery of the event.
Click here to browse through a selection of EY2012-related initiatives in the Czech Republic.
For more information about the European Year 2012 in the Czech Republic you may visit this website.