Europeans are living increasingly long lives. According to the Report on the Impact of Demographic Change, 20% of the population is above 65 today, and by 2070 it will be 30%. The share of people above 80 is expected to more than double, reaching 13% by 2070. This will have an impact on growth and sustainability, employment, health and long-term care across all EU regions. In addition, COVID-19 has highlighted how vulnerable the elderly are and how urgent it is to tap into the potential of digital transformation to address social, economic, and health challenges.
This digital transition is a cornerstone of the Recovery and Resilience Facility and the new EU Financial Framework 2021-2027. Digitalisation has great potential to enhance the quality of life of an ageing population and transform health and social care systems in line with a 'healthy ageing-oriented' approach. For this reason, it is now more crucial than ever to steer the political and public debate towards a long-term vision, with innovative and sustainable solutions at the centre.
A multilevel and constructive dialogue between regions and cities, European institutions, industry and civil society on digitalisation and its opportunities is needed to make this transition happen. The Committee of the Regions, the European Commission, the European Regional and Local Health Authorities (EUREGHA), and the Diputación Provincial de Lugo (ES) therefore propose this interactive debate with key EU stakeholders to explore the way forward.
High-level representatives of European institutions will pave the way to discuss the implementation of digital solutions for the elderly in the European Union. The event will host experts from the European Commission and will be enriched by the experience of the EU-funded project IN-4-AHA and the story of the Province of Lugo.