Active ageing: Commission gives prizes for outstanding contributions to European Year 2012

Brussels, 19-11-2012 — / — Winners of a competition to promote active ageing have been announced by László Andor, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion. There were six categories of winners in the competition, selected from over 1300 submissions, which was organised as part of the European Year 2012 for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations.

“The commitment and innovative ideas shown by the prize winners, and thousands of others who work for a better and more inclusive society, give me confidence that we can successfully tackle the challenges of population ageing”, said Commissioner Andor.

The winners are:

Intergenerational encounters in schools – Gravity Racer Project, Huolin Koulu School, Finland. 12 year old students and granddad Hannu Gustafsson worked and learned together on an exciting project to build a gravity racer car.

Journalism – (written) The Generation Gap, JP/Politiken Hus, Denmark. Four journalists at Politiken focused on how younger and older generations try to function together; (audiovisual) The Senior at Work, Cultfiction Oy, Finland. An 18-part reality TV series on public channel Yle TV1 about people who choose not to retire.

Individual life-time achievements – Bruno Põder, Kersti Skovgaard, Estonia. Bruno continued to work as a surgeon until the age of 80 without losing his positive attitude or his ambition to contribute to society.

Social Entrepreneurship – Two Generations Share a House, Typhaine de Penfentenyo, France. Students stay in the home of an older person for free or at a moderate rent in exchange for help and company. Ensemble2générations created by Typhaine de Penfentenyo addresses the isolation of older people and the shortage of affordable student housing. Since 2006 there have been over 900 student/elderly partnerships and over 15 regional branches opened in France.

Age-Friendly Environments – Life-Long Living, Fredericia, Denmark. An example of a new model for interaction between elderly citizens and the local social services, focusing on everyday rehabilitation. The programme saves €70,000 per month in assistance services requested by seniors –tangible proof of increased independence!

Workplace for all Ages – Managing People of Different Ages, Helsingin kaupunki, Henkilöstökeskus, Finland. Helsinki seeks to be a model for promoting an age-diverse workforce by getting everyone involved: from local sports centres, to health care providers, to occupational services.


Population ageing is seen by many as an issue for concern. However, it also gives rise to new opportunities. Recognising and enhancing the contribution of older people to the economy and to society will help address the challenges of population ageing in terms of sustainability of our welfare systems.

The European Year 2012 for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations has aimed at raising awareness of these issues and promoted measures that create more and better opportunities for older people to remain active and independent and to ensure genuine two-way solidarity between generations.

The Awards Scheme reflects the three dimensions of the active ageing approach promoted in the course of the European Year 2012: employment, social participation and independent living.

For more information

On the EY2012 award winners and finalists

Films on the EY2012 award winners

Pictures of the Award Ceremony

Website of the European Year of Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations


The EU Contribution to active ageing and solidarity between Generations

Eurostat brochure – Active ageing and solidarity between generations – a statistical portrait of the European Union 2012

How to promote active ageing in Europe – EU support to local and regional actors

European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations 2012

László Andor’s website:

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Contacts :

Jonathan Todd (+32 2 299 41 07)

Nadège Defrère (+32 2 296 45 44)


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