The Summit on Innovation for Active and Healthy Ageing held on 9 and 10 March 2015) aimed to engage Europe's policy, services and market leaders to co-create a shared vision on how Europe can address the challenges and seize the opportunities arising from demographic change through ICT and innovation and in that way contribute to economic recovery.
Central topic of the summit was: how can technology, innovation and new ways of cooperation help Europe to turn this major challenge into an opportunity? The EU population is changing dramatically because of a higher life expectancy and a lower fertility: longer lives and fewer newborns. The number of European citizens over 80 will double by 2025 while the labour market is shrinking. The ageing of our population can undermine the foundations of Europe's health and social care systems. Our labour markets, workforce and overall our cohesion as a society is at risk as the ratio of active vs. inactive people is shifting dramatically. But demographic change also offers new opportunities for innovation, growth and societal transformation that can benefit many millions. In our fast-paced and interconnected world, driven by breakthrough technologies, the right innovations for active and healthy ageing can help our citizens stay active and independent for more years, while savings costs for governments and creating profits for businesses.
The European Commission, in close cooperation with stakeholders from the cruise industry, European sea ports and the coastal and maritime tourism sector, convened the first pan-European dialogue for cruise tourism, which took place in Brussels, on 5 and 6 March 2015.
The conference and its participants generally acknowledged the principles and objectives set forth in the Europe 2020 Strategy: stressed the importance of sustainable cruise, coastal and maritime tourism for the European economy as a driving force to the creation of jobs and growth and to the promotion of Blue Growth for Europe; recognised the fast growth of cruise tourism and its specificities compared to other forms of tourism; underlined the need to involve all the tourism chain in the benefits and deliveries for cruise tourism; recognized the contribution of cruise, coastal and maritime tourism to the social and economic development of coastal and insular destinations, the importance of coastal and insular destinations as touristic attractions and the need to preserve their authenticity and heritage; reminded that the promotion of tourism is first and foremost a matter for national, regional and local authorities; paid tribute to the particularities of different sea basins and the need for a dedicated approach to different regional challenges and untapped potentials; underlined the need of coordinated implementation of environmental legislation by Member States.
The conference was held on 4th March 2015 in the Committee of the Regions in Brussels and it was organized by Molise region. The conference gathered 122 participants representing EU institutions – EU Commission, the Committee of the Regions, European Economic Social Committee and members of the European Parliament, Mediterranean member states, regional and local authorities, universities and research centers. The conference consisted on constructive debates between the EU institutions and the 13 selected projects of the Med "maritime integrated approach " call, on cooperative approaches and challenges to be faced in the Mediterranean; environmental mitigation challenges, economies and employment, and fisheries and coastal tourism. These exchanges of opinions and topics will allow the partnership of COM&CAP MarInA-Med to deliver recommendations to the MED Programme regarding issues and challenges in the Mediterranean basin to be tackled during the forthcoming 2014-2020 programming period.
This conference is organised within the framework of the New Jersey Project co-financed by the European LIFE Programme which is the main financial instrument supporting environmental, nature conservation and climate action projects throughout the EU.
In addition to the New Jersey Project, other EU initiatives on road infrastructure aiming at improving environment and quality of life for regions and cities were presented during the event. The conference is concluded with the presentation of the New Public Procurement Directive which must be implemented by regions next year and hence encouraging the road infrastructure industry to promote more innovative and sustainable solutions. The conference was held on March 3rd in Commitee of Regions in Brussels.
The 5th Annual Meeting of the Platform of European Groupings of Territorial Cooperation was held in CoR on 03rd March 2015. with the role of the EGTCs implementing policies related to employment. The EGTCs act beyond regional policy and implement cross-border employment strategies, foster the mobility of workers and integrate different job markets. The new European Commission informed about the new agenda in the field of employment, and the Conference exchanged the best experiences and discussed about how to participate in the different EU programmes.
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