Stakeholders Network SHAFE

Stakeholders Network SHAFE

AFEdemy role in the project:

Willeke van Staalduinen is the Vice-Chair of the COST Action.

☐ Research
☐ Training
☐ Curriculum development
☐ e-Learning Platform
Policy recommendation



Moving age-related topics to the big umbrella themes of Health and the Digital Single Market is a vital process to pursue the societal scope of a Europe prepared to provide quality of life and well-being through the whole life cycle. This implies high-level crossover discussion between different groups, networks, DGs, EIPs and international organisations, understanding the symbiotic interdependence of these subjects towards a Healthy and Competitive Europe.

In 2018, Cáritas Diocesana de Coimbra and AFEdemy launched, in close cooperation with several European organisations, the concept of SHAFE (Smart Healthy Age-Friendly Environments). SHAFE was a Thematic Network, approved by the European Commission to build and deliver a Joint Statement (a Framing Paper and a Call to Action) in 2018.

After that, SHAFE evolved by taking its more than 160 partner organisations to a European Stakeholders Network, which is currently working to deliver this Position Paper, focused on cooperation and implementation. SHAFE is now a part of several ongoing initiatives, as an  objective and methodology of work, e. g. in the Action Plan of Group D4 of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing and as methodological basis for several European funded projects (e.g. EU_SHAFE – Interreg Europe; Hands-on SHAFE – Erasmus +; COST Action NET4AGE-FRIENDLY) .

Meanwhile, Europe and the rest of the world are confronted with the COVID-19 pandemic, started in February 2020. This virus outbreak will certainly lead to a post-pandemic economic crisis and contain a new order of daily life, such as social distancing, personal protection measures and remote work and activities. It will also bring economic repercussions and a new debate that is needed on health and wellbeing. This new reality has been taken into account in this Positioning Paper on SHAFE.


  • Produce a Joint Statement 2018 that summarizes a common position on Smart Healthy Age-friendly Environments, priorities for policy making and recommendations beyond 2020, aiming at a White Paper in 2019.
  • Provide a forum to exchange policy priorities and technical expertise on AFE and eHealth/mHealth;
  • Inform the Commission and Member States on knowledge/expertise available in stakeholder community about challenges, solutions and best practices;
  • Bring better local practices already implemented by Local and Regional Authorities that have been identified in the EIP-AHA for twinning or scaling-up and collect lessons learned towards policy drawing;
  • Promote common principles as person-centred interventions, protection of personal data, standardisation, interoperability, data-enabled research, personalised medicine, quadruple helix.

AFE Related Topics

Outdoor spaces and buildings
Social participation
Transport and mobility
Social inclusion and non-discrimination
Civic engagement and employment
Communication and information
Community and health services

Target groups

Citizens, researchers, businesses and public authorities.


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AFEdemy, Academy on Age-Friendly Environments in Europe B. V.

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