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Over 80 participants attended on December 10th the national closing ceremony of the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations 2012 in Luxembourg.
The event was opened by Marie-Josée Jacobs, Minister of Family and Integration, who spoke of 2012 as a year marked by a wide range of active ageing activities and initiatives, which "shows that older people still have a very important and active role in society". She expressed her desire for these actions to continue throughout 2013 and beyond, then took the opportunity to thank all those who contributed to this cause.
In his speech on "the look of ageing", MEP Charles Goerens referred to the Nobel Prize given to the European Union to demonstrate that these types of initiatives are worthwhile and that they must continue beyond 2012. "2012 has been only a first step toward active ageing actions", he said. To illustrate just how active seniors can be, members of the Festivasion association then presented a video that moved the entire audience.
As recalled, the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations in Luxembourg was inaugurated in February at Café des Ages. This same concept was put into practice at the closing event, with people of various ages, nationalities and social classes gathered around a table, sharing coffee and biscuits and talking about issues such as the isolation and loneliness of older people, as well as the meaning of active ageing and intergenerational dialogue.
Due to the success of Café des Ages in Luxembourg, which brought together more than 300 people in 2012, these meetings will thereafter be continued. As proof of the organisers' involvement, a short questionnaire was passed around during the ceremony to choose the themes for 2013. The results were as follows: 17% of the public voted for "values over time", 15% showed an interest for the subject of "Citizenship - live together" and 14% for "mobility - accessibility for everyone."
The ceremony was closed by a speech by Georges Bingen, Head of the European Commission representation in Luxembourg, who was very proud of all the actions that were undertaken nationally during the Year, such as the 60+ Marathon, the Sing For You, generations@school and the Seniorforce Day. Mr Bingen said the next 10 years will be a challenge for everyone to support the ageing process, but seeing how active the involvement was this year he was very optimistic as to its continuation.
The event ended with a reception where partners could present and discuss the actions undertaken during 2012.
Picture gallery of the event.
For more information about the European Year 2012 in Luxembourg you may visit this website.