The participation of senior citizens in policy-making: Patterning initiatives in Europe

Roberto Falanga, Andreas Cebulla, Andrea Principi, Marco Socci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
96 Downloads (Pure)


Worldwide, active aging policy calls for greater participation of senior citizens in the social, economic, and political realms. Despite emerging evidence of initiatives engaging senior citizens in social activities, little is known about the use of participatory approaches in the design and/or implementation of policies that matter to older citizens. This article identifies initiatives facilitating the civic participation of older people in policy-making in European Union member and associate states, drawing on a review of the literature, consultation of national policy experts, and exemplary case studies. Four main patterns of senior civic participation are identified: adopting consultative or co-decisional participatory approaches in policy design or policy implementation. The four are represented to varying degrees at different geographical levels (national, regional, local), with different actor configurations (appointed, elected/nominated, corporate representation), and with varying degree of institutionalization (temporary/permanent). Case studies illustrate approaches taken to enhance the quality and effectiveness of public services for senior citizens. Future research should strengthen this line of enquiry to cast further light on conditions facilitating the civic participation of senior citizens.

Original languageEnglish
Article number34
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • Citizen participation
  • Europe
  • Policy-making
  • Senior citizens


Dive into the research topics of 'The participation of senior citizens in policy-making: Patterning initiatives in Europe'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this