ELAC - European Local Authorities Competition on Good Practices on the Support for Migrant Elders’ Initiatives

 

The growing percentage of migrant elders all around Europe is a matter of fact. The last few decades have seen a rapid demographic change in the ethnic and cultural diversity of many European states; according to statistical data, the number of elders aged 65-79 will increase throughout the European Union over the next 20 years whereas the number of younger people will decrease significantly. With the greying of their populations, many European societies will have to face the reality that their elder generation will become much more diverse, both ethnically and culturally.

 

Migrant elders have a great deal of potential and competence especially regarding their contribution to society, notably as volunteers, but also as workers and regarding cultural and economic potential. Local authorities are key players when it comes to improving the quality of life of their citizens.

 

For these reasons the Ministry for Intergenerational Affairs, Family, Women and Integration of the State of North-Rhine Westphalia and the CEMR (Council of European Municipalities and Regions) in cooperation with the Committee of the Regions launched ELAC for migrant elders - first "European Local Authorities Competition on Good Practices on the Support for Migrant Elders’ Initiatives".

 

Aktioncourage, the implementing organisation of ELAC, is organising the awards ceremony which will take place in February 2011 at the Committee of the Regions in Brussels. The Prize will be given to the best local authority initiatives for the mutual integration of migrant elders in all municipal fields of activity for the improvement of the quality of life of elderly people: housing, leisure and culture, social and intergenerational activities, support of volunteering by and for migrant elders, support of economic activities related to culturally sensitive products and services.

 

ELAC for migrant elders - first "European Local Authorities Competition on Good Practices on the Support for Migrant Elders’ Initiative" Cultural and ethnic diversity of an ageing population - an opportunity for Europe’s towns and municipalities.

 

Local authorities are key players when it comes to improving the quality of life of their citizens. In 2010/2011 a first European competition will award municipalities for their innovative initiatives in the mutual integration of migrant elders.

 

The prizes awarded will revolve around local authority initiatives for the mutual integration of migrant elders in all municipal fields of activity for the improvement of the quality of life of elderly people:

housing,

leisure and culture,

social and intergenerational activities

support of economic activities related to culturally sensitive products and services

support of volunteering by and for migrant elders

 

• Aktioncourage, the implementing organisation of a project launched by the Ministry for Intergenerational Affairs, Family, Women and Integration of the State of North-Rhine Westphalia and CEMR in cooperation with the Committee of the Regions. The project is under the patronage of the President of the European Parliament. The project ELAC for migrant elders is a local authorities best practice competition seeking to promote those practices that best address the needs of migrant elders and help to increase their opportunities within European societies. Please find attached the call for submissions. For more information, please have a look at www.aktioncourage.org/ELACinenglish and do not hesitate to contact me if you have further questions

• The awards ceremony will take place in February 2011 at the Committee of the Regions in Brussels.

• importance of the growing and ageing population of migrant elders across Europe

• opportunities and possibilities for improving integration and increasing social participation

 the project focuses on the promotion of active ageing and social, cultural and economic integration of migrant and minority ethnic elders, emphasising volunteer activities and the emergence of new culturally sensitive products and services in the fields of, for instance, housing, care, leisure, and culture.

 

The project has been launched in response to the impact of demographic change as one of the greatest challenges facing the European Union and a key element to promote economic and social inclusion within the EU. Statistical data shows that the number of elders aged 65-79 will increase throughout the European Union over the next 20 years whereas the number of younger people will decrease significantly.

 

Within the growing group of elders, migrant elders have already become an important new target group. The emergence of the group of migrant elders in mainly due to the fact that in the context of migration triggered by poverty, insecurity and job search, the formerly national European countries of the 1950s have changed into migration societies. Their economic, cultural and social spheres are increasingly being influenced by immigrant population groups. The total numbers of elders from those ethnic minority groups have already increased over the last decades and will do so even more rapidly over the next decades.

 

General questions concern the form and the extent of social, cultural, economic and political integration of immigrant groups into the host society. One of the special challenges to the existing system of care and culture is offering services and provision for migrant and minority ethnic elders with their different cultural, ethnic, religious and linguistic backgrounds.

 

Regarding migrant and minority ethnic elders, this is an important issue that has not really been dealt with and acknowledged in many European countries. Migrant elders have a great deal of potential and competence especially regarding their contribution to society, notably as volunteers, but also as workers and regarding cultural and economic potential.