The European Union is at present finalising the European Social Fund budgets for the period 2014-2020.    This is a key fund for addressing poverty and social exclusion and while the main focus is on employment education and training issues relating to “affordable, sustainable and high quality services” of particular concern to older people are also receiving attention.

For the purposes of this Fund all of Ireland is now considered one of the European Union’s more developed regions.     However, Ireland is still set to receive substantial funding under this heading.   The European Union agreed objectives for this Fund over this period include investment in active and healthy ageing (presumably funding will be provided   for our own Positive Ageing Strategy),    promotion of sustainable transport of particular concern to older citizens living in rural areas and the combatting of discrimination including discrimination on the basis of age.

This Fund specifically addresses issues around poverty and social exclusion and members of IAOP might be interested in identifying priorities in policy and practices which might more effectively enhance living conditions of all senior citizens.