Is active ageing a reality for local policies? A discussion based on the portuguese context

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It is worldwide acknowledged that the rapidly rising share of older people places a challenge to public policies at different scales. International and national guidelines have been underlying both the need to promote a more active ageing and the importance of creating the necessary means for decision makers and other relevant actors to work together (the governance mechanisms) to implement local active ageing policies. How are local governments and other actors conceptualizing active ageing? What are their priorities? What governance mechanisms are used to implement such policies? These are some of the questions that this paper addresses in the context of a southern European country: Portugal. Mixed methods were used to address the issue at stake. First, a study at the national level was developed by applying questionnaires to local stakeholders in order to map local active ageing policies. Second, a case study approach involving interviews in two NUTS III regions was conducted to understand the governance mechanisms. Findings confirm the 'passive organization type' in which European politico-territorial studies tend to place Portugal, as there are gaps in the way policies are formulated, implemented and evaluated, as well as a lack of coordination at various levels.
Active ageing, Local policies, Governance, stakeholders, population ageing