On the 4th September, 2020 the Louth County Council , EU_SHAFE Project partner, made an online submission to the National Consultation on the future ERDF/ESF+ priorities in Ireland. The Irish action plan for EU Cohesion Funds aims to highlight the need to build resilience to demographic change across the Operational Programmes. In this framework, the EU_SHAFE project can be considered as a cross cutting connector between the EU Priorities and the Regional Operational Programmes.

The Irish EU_SHAFE partner, Louth County Council took the position that the Policy Objectives identified in the Ireland Country Specific Report, along with the Key Needs identified in the Irish Needs Analysis should be age proofed to ensure that the requirements of older people are met throughout the Regional Operational Programmes.

The submission examined the EU Policy Priorities of “A Smarter Europe, A Greener Low Carbon Europe, A More Connected Europe, A More Social Europe; and Europe Closer to its Citizens” and set out a variety of SHAFE Actions in line with those priorities, drawing attention to the opportunities both socially and economically within the SHAFE sector going forward. Some of the actions proposed, inspired by the EU_SHAFE project’s objectives and foreseen results, included the enhancement of multi-disciplinary R&I capacities for the development of ICTs addressing increasing longevity, as well as, ensuring energy efficiency of all existing housing for older persons, ensuring all older persons everywhere are digitally connected to global information services, promoting greater health literacy among vulnerable older adults in the region, supporting new models of community-based integrated care; and bridging the gap between the EU and its citizens of all ages by fostering new and inclusive ways of working together.

In light of the current pandemic, the submission to the National Consultation stressed the importance of listening to the voice of older people and developing new and inclusive models to help older people to live full, healthy and happy lives in their homes.

 The full submission is available to read at www.louthcoco.ie/en/services/communities/louth-age-friendly/eu_shafe-interreg-europe-news/