Voices from the regions: The demographic change in Saxony-Anhalt – final demography workshop under the German pilot

“Age friendly municipal administration” - this was the topic of the last regional demography workshop held within the CE-Ageing Platform project in Saxony-Anhalt. The workshop was organized by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in close cooperation with the University of Applied Sciences Magdeburg/Stendal and the City of Magdeburg. The workshop, which took place in the town hall of Magdeburg, was visited by 42 participants along with the State Secretary of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (Ms. Anja Naumann) and other local stakeholders.

The concept of the regional demography workshops was a part of the development of the regional ageing strategy in Saxony-Anhalt. The dialogue with stakeholders from various fields of municipal administration and universities allowed all participants to exchange experiences and identify new ideas how to handle the demographic challenge.

For this and last time, the workshop focused on the elderly friendly municipal administration. Various strategies and changes in the public sector and the municipal administration will be necessary due to the demographic change and growing number of older people. The demographic challenges with an ageing society, ageing customers of public services as well as an ageing workforce lead to changes and effects for the public/municipal administration. The demographic workshop “elderly friendly municipal administration” focused on the discussion about this aspect. In cooperation with representatives of the City of Arnsberg (Germany), the City of Bern (Switzerland) and the University of Applied Sciences Magdeburg/Stendal different best-practises were introduced and explained.

The focus of the first part of the workshop lied on the scientific analysis of the challenges for the municipal administration caused by the demographic change. Professor Jürgen Wolf explained the initial results of the research done by the University of Applied Sciences Magdeburg, which focuses on the impact of the demographic change on the municipal administration of the City of Magdeburg. Based on this first input, Professor Michael Opielka presented a general overview about opportunities and risks for municipal administrations due to the demographic change.

Best practices from Arnsberg, Bern and the CE-Ageing Platform project were the most important aspects of the second part of the workshop. Based on those experiences the participants discussed the positive and negative aspects of an elderly friendly municipal administration. Ms. Marita Gerwisch and Ms. Rita Gisler explained the age friendly concepts and strategies of the City of Arnsberg (Germany) and Bern (Switzerland). The changes and effects for Saxony-Anhalt and the Central European regions caused by the demographic change were presented by Mr. Thomas Brammer, who introduced recently finalized CE-Ageing Platform Strategy in addition to regional work and results of the project’s pilot implemented in Saxony-Anhalt.

Good practice examples and discussion during the workshop showed that different ways and solutions are necessary to react to the challenges for public administration. Detailed information about the workshop, mentioned projects and best-practices can be find on the following websites: Saxony-Anhalt province; University of Applied Sciences Magdeburg-Stendal.

Detailed description of the CE-Ageing Platform project, the pilot and the demographic change in Saxony-Anhalt is available here.

Thomas Brammer, PP4, Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs Saxony-Anhalt, Germany

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