In 1989, a crass-national comparative survey on services for the elderly in Europe was initiated and funded by the Commission of the European Communities. It included the 12 countries of the current European Community (EC). Those services for the elderly studied were classified as temporary vs. permanent and conventional vs. innovative residential and community services. This article discusses developments within the EC relevant to public policymaking on aging and reports on the services for the elderly examined by the survey. It also delineates various new tasks for the EC to safeguard the appropriate use of services and thereby promote a dignified old age for all Europeans involved.