Sunday, June 23, 2024

Loneliness in the European Union: Policies at work

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Key messages and policy recommendations of the one day conference on “Loneliness in the European Union: Policies at work”

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Loneliness in the EU event – Speakers biographies

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Loneliness in the EU event – Agenda


Plenary sessions

Presentation of the project “Loneliness in the European Union”  

  • JRC presentation of the European Parliament Pilot Project on Loneliness with focus on findings from the first ever EU-wide survey on loneliness. 

Understanding and addressing loneliness– Morning panel discussion 

  • The session reflected on the project’s results and touch upon the challenges associated with data collection, the relationship between loneliness and life outcomes, the role of technology and the complexity of addressing loneliness. 
  • Dr. Caterina Mauri, Dr. Francesco Berlingieri, JRCSlides, Audio recording and session Q&A

Policy interventions: Effectiveness and challengesAfternoon panel discussion 

  • Starting from a presentation of the JRC’s research on loneliness interventions, the panel discussed the question of how to tackle loneliness across the EU.
  • Dr. Elizabeth Casabianca, JRC: Slides, Audio recording

Thematic parallel sessions

Loneliness and health 

Loneliness is correlated with higher morbidity and mortality as well as worse mental health. Yet distinguishing determinants and effects of loneliness is a complex task. What can existing studies tell us? What are the benefits of an integrated approach to loneliness and mental wellbeing? 

  • Loneliness and health: an important and complex relationship, Dr. Matija Kovacic, JRC: Slides, Audio recording
  • Loneliness and health across the lifespan, Prof. Pamela Qualter, University of Manchester: Slides, Audio recording
  • Towards a comprehensive approach to mental health, Ms Véronique Wasbauer, Principal Adviser for non-communicable diseases, European Commission’s DG for Health and Food Safety: Slides, Audio recording, Session Q&A Audio recording

Loneliness and the role of social media 

Social media can facilitate social connections but also reinforce loneliness. Is the relationship between loneliness and social media dependent on passive vs active use of social media and does it differ across age groups? This session explored these findings.

Loneliness in the society 

Loneliness is associated with political disengagement, decreased level of trust and higher risk behaviours. Loneliness is also subject to stigma that may both inhibit effective responses and mask the size of the problem. What do we know about the mechanisms behind these observations? How will this shape our future societies?


For further information on the project activities, visit the Loneliness project page

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