Demography assumes increasing significance as slower population growth and ageing continue to transform the age pyramid at an accelerating rate. The effects of this marked transition towards a much older population are set to be felt through to the middle of the century. Whether the subject is social protection, employment, health, migration or structural policy, the demographic variable is an essential factor in analysing problems and developing appropriate policy responses. The Lisbon Strategy, launched in March 2000, paid particular attention to the demographic challenge in setting up the EU medium term policy approach for economic growth and social cohesion.
Read more on the Social Situation in the European Union Report
Read more on the Green Paper "Confronting demographic change: a new solidarity between the generations"
See the results of five studies on
policy implications of demographic changes in the enlarged EU.
Communication on Demography:
Population ageing is a process caused by decreasing fertility levels and growth in longevity, which will be accentuated after 2010 when the baby-boom generation will start crossing the retirement age.
Europe's response to World Ageing is a contribution of the European Commission to the 2nd World Assembly on Ageing - (Communication from the Commission to the Council) COM (2002) 143 final (18.03.2002)
Available in 11 languages (pdf - 300 Kb)
The European Commission communication "Towards a Europe for all ages - promoting prosperity and intergenerational solidarity" examines the challenges that this shift in the age structure of Europe's population offers for EU economic and social policies:
Available in 11 languages (pdf - 200 Kb)
- Adapting to ageing in workplaces and labour markets by promoting active ageing and equal opportunities;
- Adapting to ageing in retirement and pensions by increasing effective retirement age, making pension systems less sensitive to demographic changes and guaranteeing an adequate level of income in old age; and
- Adapting to ageing in health and care needs by promoting healthier ageing, securing equal access to medical treatment for all ages, providing an adequate supply of quality care for the very old/frail and promoting the role of rehabilitation.