The potential of ICT for the socio-economic integration of groups at risk (elderly people, migrants, youth)

The strategic policy framework “i2010: A European Information Society for Growth and Employment” clearly establishes digital inclusion as an EU strategic policy goal. Building on this, the 2006 Riga Ministerial Declaration on eInclusion defines eInclusion as both inclusive ICT and the use of ICT to achieve wider inclusion objectives. Three of its main objectives are:

  1. To address the needs of elderly people by increasing their quality of life, autonomy and safety, while respecting their privacy and ethical requirements, through independent living initiatives, the promotion of assistive technologies, and ICT-enabled services for integrated social and healthcare, including personal emergency and location-based services.
  2. To improve the digital literacy and competences of groups at risk of exclusion, notably the unemployed, immigrants, people with low education levels, people with disabilities, the elderly, and marginalised young people, contributing to their employability and working conditions.
  3. The promotion of cultural diversity through the use of ICT to improve the possibilities for economic and social participation and integration, creativity and entrepreneurship of immigrants and minorities by stimulating their participation in the information society.

These policy developments respond to the fact that in the EU, it is estimated that the number of people over 80 years old will rise from 18.2 million in 2004 to nearly 50 million in 2050. In addition, the migrant population (50 million foreign-born) constitutes an important component of the population (10% and rising), contributing to economic growth and cultural diversity. At the same time, the number of young people (aged 15-29) will decrease from 20 to 15% of the population by 2050. Of these young people, 21% are unemployed, 19 million are at risk of poverty and 6 million are school dropouts.

The IPTS has been providing specific policy support and research activities to support the implementation of eInclusion policies since 2006, focusing in particular on the role of ICT applications and initiatives for the socio-economic integration of migrants and youth at risk, and the role of ICT in support of domiciliary carers of elderly people (to go to the subsection, click on one of the topics below):

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