What would you do if you had only one day left to live? The inaugural conference of the European Year for Active Ageing 2012 was opened with a song with this lyrics, performed by a choir of Danish seniors before an audience of some one hundred participants, who had gathered in the Danish capital to discuss innovation to benefit the ageing population of Europe.

"Considering current talks, the European year 2012 comes at just the right time. But it cannot be a success unless all stakeholders invest in it. A top-to-bottom approach will not be sufficient to help aged people remain active,' warned the Commissioner in charge of Employment and Social Affairs, Laszlo Andor, in his introductory speech. "I am therefore calling on all those involved to contribute.

The European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations aims to highlight the useful role played by aged people within society and to promote measures improving their chances of remaining active. In line with Decision 940/2011/EU, it is based on three main themes: 1. active ageing at work, via the adaptation of working conditions, the revision of taxes and social security benefits, the modernisation of skills; etc; 2. participation in society through voluntary work; and 3. independent living, particularly via an environment that is better adapted to accommodating aged people.

"I know that it's a bit of a paradox, in the context of an economic crisis, to put aged people on the job market when young people are...

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