It is a known fact that population ageing has changed the demand for social protection in the EU (e.g. more long-term care, active labour market policies aimed at older workers) with public authorities reacting rather than acting on those changes. Less attention has been paid on the need to plan for these changes and on the possibility to steer demand for social protection by acting earlier in the life-cycle (e.g. through prevention of chronic conditions due to behavioural risks). This project provides a first example of how national and local stakeholders may enact strategic active and healthy ageing plans to act on demographic ageing.
The project is coordinated by the Czech Ministry of Health and aims to develop a strategic plan for healthy, active and dignified ageing in the Czech Republic, with an emphasis on health and long-term care and involvement of local levels of government. In order to achieve this aim, a number of operational objectives are foreseen:
The project builds on good practices gathered through field visits in Austria and elsewhere in the EU, the latter through desk research.
The European Centre’s contribution to this project consisted in a Policy Paper titled “Active and healthy ageing for better long-term care – a fresh look at innovative practice examples”, which serves as the cornerstone for the strategic plan for healthy, active and dignified ageing in the Czech Republic. This entailed, first, the identification of good practices in Austria and other EU Member States by building on experiences from INTERLINKS that were presented during a workshop and study tour with the Czech partners (Linz, 5-7 November, 2012) to debate the transferability of innovative practices in healthy and active ageing in Austria.
Secondly, the policy paper stands for the first example of a practical application of the Active Ageing Index (AAi) to highlight priority areas for action and inform public policies. Although focused on the Czech Republic, the Policy Paper debates issues that are relevant for the ageing populations of other EU27 countries. A European Centre Policy Brief highlights these experiences and discuss how the Active Ageing Index may help policy makers to identify and address main challenges and opportunities in implementing healthy and active ageing in the EU27.
The Policy Paper highlights key areas of investment for the Czech Republic in order to achieve enhanced active and healthy ageing. It also demonstrates the ability of the Active Ageing Index to be adapted and used to steer policy development at the national level. Finally, the Policy Paper also discusses some conditions for the transferability of good practices from other countries to the Czech Republic.