Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing

Delivered in Plenary - 7th February 2013

Mr President

ageing is a challenge we must all face and in fact, for the record, professionally I trained as an old-age psychiatrist. The elderly are a growing portion of the EU population and have a great deal to contribute to our societies. Growing older should have no correlation to quality of life and it is important that we ensure that all of our respective national elderly populations age with grace and with opportunities to continue to be active, to learn new things and to enjoy their lives. However, environment and place play an integral role in the process of ageing. One of my constituents in London will experience growing older quite differently to another in Paris in Budapest.

As a social policy, there is no EU one-size-fits-all prescription for healthy ageing. Public health matters such as this are place-specific, and for this reason remain within the competence of Member States. While we can agree to the goal of supporting our ageing populations, the issue falls best within the national, local and regional context, not done by the EU.