Activists and organisations from all over Europe are hoping to push politics in the direction of healthy longevity for all EU citizens. Their aim is to persuade the European Commission to declare its positive support for increased scientific efforts on longevity. Now the European Longevity Initiative is calling for like-minded individuals and organisations to join their cause.
The European Longevity Initiative is an organisation set up by longevity biologist, entrepreneur and philosopher Attila Csordas with one simple message: only new medical technologies that are slowing down the ageing process and regenerating the body will solve the health problems faced by older people in the long term. These technologies will lead to more productive years and fewer unwanted frail, disabled, compromised years. With the development of focused medical healthy longevity technologies, we can increase healthy lifespan expectancy more than by using any other method.
There are few organisations, representatives in the EU or other European countries who currently support this view, so the European Longevity Initiative is working to promote longevity advocacy, policy and politics and change the ageing landscape. Participating in this work are Felix Werth (Party for Health Research), Joanna Bensz (longevity-center.eu), Petr Sramek (longevityforum.eu), Tina Woods (Longevity International), Clara Fernández Porta, and many more.
Activists launch a European Citizen’s Initiative
There is a legal mechanism in Europe that allows advocacy groups to propose a binding or non-binding document to the European Commission if enough signatures are gathered from around the EU. The mechanism is called the European Citizen’s Initiative and the European Longevity Initiative is trying to use it to substantially improve healthy life expectancy across the EU by 2035.
At the moment more than six organisations and many activists with diverse professional backgrounds from Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Slovenia, France, Spain, Poland, Austria, Italy, United Kingdom, Hungary, Denmark and Greece are taking part in this initiative. They are biomedical scientists, engineers, social scientists, entrepreneurs, investors from the longevity industry and many others.
What connects these people from different countries, professions, political opinions and ages is the desire to help all people achieve a healthy and long life. They also believe that the right time to act to achieve this is now, when the coronavirus crisis has shown that age-related deterioration of the immune system is a major factor in mortality connected to the virus. With the development of lifespan-extending medical technologies advancing faster than many people think, if medicine could strengthen the immune system of older people, mortality could be much lower for all pandemics in the future. The renowned journal Nature wrote recently that anti-aging drugs could also boost COVID vaccines in old people (Willyard, 2020).
The work on European Longevity Initiative
Strengthening the immune system or general interventions to counteract the biological ageing process are not science fiction any longer. The scientific community has defined nine major hallmark biological processes of ageing and is now working to slow, stop and possibly reverse them. All nine are presented in a diagram from a Cell article (Lopez-Otin, Blasco, Partridge, Serrano, & Kroemer, 2013), which led to mainstream scientific adoption and opened up several new research avenues around a new paradigm of biological ageing and translational geroscience.
The European Longevity Initiative hopes to promote the recognition that the biological ageing process, which is responsible for the majority of chronic diseases and deaths, is malleable not only with a healthy lifestyle but potentially also with emerging, interventionist, clinical healthy longevity technologies. Furthermore, and as a complementary approach, they wish to fight institutional ageism present in all countries.
In the short-term, the practical goal is to try to define longevity politics in Europe and launch a successful European Citizen’s Initiative by gathering a million signatures. In the longer term, the goal is to add years of extra healthy life expectancy to the lives of European citizens. This can be achieved through a combination of healthy lifestyle initiatives, the involvement of the longevity industry, AGEtech facilitation, the help of the European Medicines Agency, budgetary guidelines of longevity science research and finally a coordinated European institute for healthy longevity research.
All those who wish to participate and help with this noble cause can do so by connecting with the European Longevity Initiative. A great deal of support will be needed to gather signatures and to help with preparing the legal document for the European
You can contact the European Longevity Initiative here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Martin Lipovšek, MPhil, is President of the Slovenian Society for Vital Life Extension and a member of the European Longevity Initiative.
This post is originally attributed to Martin Lipovšek and was posted originally at the following url within AAL-Europe.eu:
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Lopez-Otin, C., Blasco, M. A., Partridge, L., Serrano, M., & Kroemer, G. (2013). The hallmarks of aging. Cell, 153(6), 1194-1217. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2013.05.039
Willyard, C. (2020). How anti-ageing drugs could boost COVID vaccines in older people. Nature, 586(7829), 352-354. doi:doi:10.1038/d41586-020-02856-7