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The National closing conference of the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations in Poland took place on December 19th at the Sejm (Polish Parliament) in Warsaw.
The event, attended by around 400 people, was opened by the Minister of Labour and Social Policy, Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz, who said that the EY2012 is over, but the idea and the goals behind it remain.
“We are at the beginning of the road to change awareness, public education and participation regarding solidarity between generations”, he said, noting the great potential and energy of older people, as demonstrated on the occasion of various actions taken in Poland in the framework of the European Year.
The Minister also pointed out the need for a seniors’ parliament, which would be equivalent to the one that operates in Europe. It would be a body that will give an opinion, support and give good advice to policy makers. Michal Szczerba, Chairman of the Parliamentary Group for Universities of the Third Age, added that he would like to see the first meeting of this group held on 1 October, the International Day of Older Persons, in the chamber of the Polish Parliament.
The director of the newly created Department of Senior Policy, Marzena Breza, stated the importance of the establishment of measures in the Government Programme for the Elderly Social Activity. Within the framework of the programme, 425 institutions received the funds that have been earmarked for projects to activate, educate and prevent social exclusion of elderly people.
Gdów Municipality, with the first University of the Third Age created in the Polish rural, and the city of Leszno, for its initiatives for elderly people, were some of the examples of good practices shared with the audience. Halina Potocka, Vice-President of AGE Platform Europe, encouraged participants to multiply these ideas and try to get funding for them.
Poland launched in August the Government Programme for Senior Citizens Social Activity 2012 – 2013 and is among the leaders in the promotion of active ageing issues. In 2012, in the framework of this Programme, many projects oriented toward social inclusion of elderly citizens received 20 million zlotys. Next year, this amount will be doubled, said Minister Kosiniak-Kamysz.
Picture gallery of the event.
Click here to browse through a selection of EY2012-related initiatives in Poland.
For more information about the European Year 2012 in Poland you may visit this website.