Czech European Presidency 2009
The Czech European Presidency (January 2009-June 2009) followed on from France. It's motto was 'Europe without Barriers."
The Czech Republic European Presidency formed part of the troika Presidencies alongside France and Sweden. As such it was committed to promote healthy, active and dignified ageing.The Czech Presidency organised “the European Conference on Dignity and Hazard in the Elderly”, which took place in Prague in May 2009.
Alzheimer Europe talks with the Czech Health Minister, Danieal Filipova, about the Czech Presidency which ran from January 2009 - June 2009.
Alzheimer Europe (AE): Minister Filipiova, the ageing of European populations has been recognised as a priority by a number of EU Presidencies. The French Presidency organised a key conference on Alzheimer’s disease and two Council conclusions were dedicated to the importance of greater European collaboration on Alzheimer’s disease. Does the Czech Presidency plan any specific follow-up initiatives in this field?
Daniela Filipiova (DF): The Czech Republic is committed to the shared priority of troika (The European Presidencies of France, Czech Republic and Sweden) that is to promote healthy, active and dignified ageing. Of course, in the context of demographic ageing and rising numbers of frail seniors, Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are one of the key challenges for the near future, in terms of ensuring quality treatment and care, protecting dignity and rights of people with dementia and their carers and promoting social inclusion.
Demographic ageing requires a change in the health strategy. The rising number of frail, older people necessitates adapting health services and ensuring the availability of geriatric care, long-term and palliative care. The challenge ahead is to transform the success and progress of our ageing societies into future development and to promote healthy and secure lives and to strengthen cohesion in our families, communities, and societies. Adopting, implementing and developing policies that promote inclusive age-friendly society are thus strategic long-term priorities.
The Czech Government is aware of those challenges at both EU and national levels. The Czech Government in January 2008 adopted a broad strategy called “Quality of Life in Old Age”. Its primary goal is to mainstream ageing into health, education, housing and other relevant policies so that they reflect and adapt to the needs of ageing populations. The program has set forth priorities for the period 2008–2012 (1. active ageing, 2. age friendly environment and community, 3. improving health and health care in old age, 4. supporting family and carers and supporting participation of older persons in society and protection human rights). The promotion of “ageing-in-place” and protecting human rights are the overreaching priorities of the program.
AE: Are there other Presidency priorities in the health or social fields, which would be of interest to people with Alzheimer’s disease and their carers?
DF: The Czech presidency inter alia organizes the European conference “Social Services – A Tool for Mobilising Workforce and Strengthening Social Cohesion”, which will take place in Prague on 22nd and 23rd April 2009. The conference will focus on growing employment opportunities in social services in the context of population ageing, support for informal carers, the role of social services in reconciliation of employment and care, the balance between professional and family care, and active social inclusion. The conference will contribute to the exchange of best practice in those areas.
The Czech Republic is prepared to address the issue of the creation of a voluntary and legally non-binding European framework for the methodology of standards of quality of social services, which will significantly contribute to the debate on possibilities of cross-border provision of social services, and to specifically address the question of standards of quality of social services within public procurement procedures.
AE: The Czech Presidency will organise a conference on dignity and the elderly in May 2009. Do you intend to raise the specific problems faced by people with dementia and their carers at that conference?
DF: The Czech Presidency is organizing “the European Conference on Dignity and Hazard in the Elderly”, which will take place in Prague on 25th and 26th of May 2009. The conference is of strategic importance for formulating responses to challenges and opportunities of our ageing populations at the EU as well as national, regional and local levels. The conference will focus on active and healthy ageing, community and long-term care, the needs and preferences of older persons in ageing society, the role of municipalities in provision of integrated care services, geriatric frailty, prevention of abuse and neglect, ageism etc. The problems faced by people with dementia and their carers are, of course, among the issues, which will be addressed from different perspectives and in different contexts during the conference.
AE: As you know, the European Commission is in the process of developing a European initiative on Alzheimer’s disease. Which areas do you consider to be most appropriate for increased European collaboration?
DF: Undoubtedly, the most efficient way to tackle a common challenge is to streamline our efforts to prevent and minimize incidence of dementia and/or its consequences. Supporting research and effective research strategy is a key way to address this challenge. Improving the situation and dignity of carers and people with dementia by ensuring quality staff and availability of specialized health and social services is a key task and challenge.
Last Updated: jeudi 22 juillet 2010