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Ageing - a renewed strategy to tackle Europe's demographic challenge

The Commission Communication takes an in-depth look at the economic and budgetary impact of an ageing population over the long-term until 2060.

29 April 2009.
The Communication adopted today presents the age-related expenditure projections on the basis of new population projections provided by Eurostat for up to 2060.

The accompanying Ageing Report was requested by EU finance ministers and was prepared jointly with the Economic Policy Committee. It presents expenditure projections for all Member States, covering
  • pensions,
  • health care,
  • long-term care,
  • education and
  • unemployment transfers.
A statistical annex gives a country-by-country overview of the main assumptions and results.

Challenges of an ageing population

Europe's population is living increasingly longer and in better health, a huge achievement that we have every reason to be proud of. However, ageing populations also pose major economic, budgetary and social challenges.

Ensuring sustainable access to social services

While the first priority is to make the current recession as short as possible, we must not lose sight of the policies and reforms needed to ensure that the elderly have decent pensions and access to health and long-term care without putting an unsustainable burden on future generations.

Governments have a window of opportunity before the baby-boom generation retires to tackle the challenge. But the policy measures taken must be compatible with the need to support the economy at this juncture, as recommended in the December European Economic Recovery Plan. Ageing will already start affecting most EU economies in the coming decade.

>> Communication COM(2009) 180. Dealing with the impact of an ageing population in the EU (2009 Ageing Report)
>> The 2009 Ageing Report: Economic and budgetary projections for the EU-27 Member States (2008-2060)