The situation of aging persons in Europe

Doc. 10325
15 October 2004

Motion for a recommendation
presented by Mr Evin and others

This motion has not been discussed in the Assembly and commits only the members who have signed it

1.             The Parliamentary Assembly emphasises the positive aspects of the lengthening of the life span, often represented as a constraint.

2.             Yet, the lengthening of human life and, as a result, the aging of the population have important consequences on the number of dependent older persons. The number of  elderly persons in most of the member states of the Council of Europe will not stop increasing during the coming years.

3.             According to studies conducted by the OECD, the old-age dependency ratio is set to rise from the current figure of 26% to 52% in 2050, and will require the mobilisation of the largest ever working population, and in particular an older working force. In this connection, the Parliamentary Assembly recalls its Recommendation 1661 (2004) on the future of social security in Europe. Moreover, the cost of long-term care for the elderly is to rise by more than 315% in real terms over the next 45 years as the number of people living into their 80s and beyond continues to rise.

4.             The Parliamentary Assembly emphasises the importance of solidarity amongst generations, the respect of aging dependent person’s dignity, and children’s responsibility towards the older generation.

5.             The Assembly considers that it is necessary to reflect on the role of society in the various members states in order to guarantee the maximum of autonomy of aging persons: to prepare and put into action measures for assisting the lengthening of life process; to ensure that there are adequate financing mechanisms; to establish examples of good practice in member states of the Council of Europe concerning services; to adapt the employment policies in order to meet the specific needs of an older working population. The sooner such reforms are carried out the better.  But they are not optional:  without them – and efforts to galvanise the European economy – Europe’s social model will crumble.

6.             It would therefore be necessary to reinforce the cooperation, not only between the member states, but also with other international organizations in order to establish common policies which would be effective in the medium and long term.

Signed [1]:
EVIN, Claude, France, SOC
BARGHOLTZ, Helena, Sweden, LDR
BRUNHART, Christian, Liechtenstein, EPP/CD
ÇAVUSOGLU, Yüksel, Turkey, LDR
DEES, Dirk, Netherlands, LDR
GÜNDÜZ, Irfan, Turkey, EPP/CD
HANCOCK, Michael, United Kingdom, LDR
HURSKAINEN, Sinikka, Finland, SOC
SAKS, Katrin, Estonia, SOC
SCHMIED, Walter, Switzerland, LDR
STANTCHEVA, Darinka, Bulgaria, LDR
VIS, Rudolf, United Kingdom, SOC



Socialist Group
Group of the European People’s Party
European Democratic Group
Liberal, Democratic and Reformers’ Group
Group of the Unified European Left
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