Beatriz Artolazabal: "The elderly must be an active element in the construction of welfare societies"

2021 September 22
  • Mérida, I International Congress of Silver Economy
  • "Cross-cutting policies are needed to promote comprehensive change for the aging population"

 Merida/Extremadura 2021 09 22

The Minister of Equality, Justice and Social Policies of the Basque Government, Mrs Beatriz Artolazabal, considers that “older people have to be an active element in the construction of welfare societies, therefore, now it is necessary to develop transversal policies that promote an integral change in which the aging population group occupies its rightful place ”.

 Artolazabal has participated in the I International Congress of Silver Economy that takes place in the Congress Palace of Mérida participating in the round table called “The pillars of the silver economy. Success Cases for a Comprehensive Approach” together with Ángel Barrera, director of the conference, Antonio Huertas Mejías president of MAPFRE and María Cordón CEO of Blue Healthcare.

 “We are facing a new challenge to turn the new longevity into an opportunity for the economy and, in particular, for the promotion of employment. The possibilities for economic development are many: from the most advanced technologies of home automation and robotics to the simplest support products, such as the development of remote assistance and personal services, either at home or in other types of accommodation and residences” has indicated Mrs Beatriz Artolazabal.

 The Minister of Equality, Justice and Social Policies of the Basque Government has indicated, “We are facing a powerful opportunity for transversal development that affects many sectors of industry, the market and employment. I insist: always with the main value of the Person”.

 New situations

“Certain situations that appear in old age impose new types of consumption. Proximity jobs will grow and could become the first provider of non-delocalized work. Older people also have a significant saving capacity, which on many occasions is redirected to other younger generations or to the productive economy,” added Artolazabal.

 According to Beatriz Artolazabal “the public authorities actively assume the commitment so that this population group does not continue to be an“ object ”of attention, management and political and social planning, but must be integrated as a“ subject ”with full rights in making social decisions and policies ”.

 “In the Basque Country (“Euskadi” in original language) we are aware that our elderly people occupy one of the main positions in our society and constitute the most valuable social pillar. For this reason, we must seek their active participation in social and political management, we must constantly improve their living conditions and we must take advantage of their knowledge to create new spaces in which, especially with our youth, we access that great experience that people older people, with the years and experience, they treasure ”, has influenced Artolazabal.

 According to the Minister for Equality, Justice and Social Policies, “all of Europe has the great challenge of adapting social and economic structures to an aging population structure. In the Basque Country we are tackling it through our Active Aging Strategy that has just completed one stage and is now beginning another, more advanced and in tune with the objectives set in the European Union”.

 The Basque population today amounts to 2,178,000 people; 487,000 are between 65 and over; 280,000 are women and 207,000 men. 113,000 people over 65 live alone in the Basque Country. "The active aging approach tries to offer a more inclusive framework of action than healthy aging, limited to the healthier aspects of aging," explained Artolazabal.


“Active aging - the Minister insisted - is based on the recognition of the human rights of the elderly and on the principles proposed by the United Nations of independence, participation, dignity, assistance and fulfilment of their own wishes. Active aging must mean equal opportunities and treatment, in all aspects of life as people age. In particular, it must respect its responsibility to exercise its participation in the political process and in other aspects of community life”.

 Artolazabal has detailed to the people attending the Congress the “advanced Basque Social Services System also present in the socio-sanitary or socio-educational space. Institutional care is aimed at the people cared for and caregivers through support services such as information, training and “respite”.

 “We understand that the care policy must be oriented especially to the promotion of the autonomy of the elderly, from a full life approach, which allows them to achieve an adequate balance in the satisfaction of all human needs at all stages of life. Life cycle; and to autonomous elderly people, promoting their talent and social participation, also in the field of care and the promotion of the quality of life of the elderly or of other people and groups, from intergenerational solidarity ”, Artolazabal commented.

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