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Policy Briefs provide a synthesis of key research findings by leading European experts on policy-relevant population issues.
Failure to Launch
Young individuals suffer disproportionally from the crisis, especially in terms of high unemployment and economic uncertainty, which affect their ability to start an independent life / A delayed transition to adulthood has negative effects on economic and demo- graphic outcomes later in life, including fertility levels / Youth exposed to the economic crisis need immediate support and relief in order to avoid becoming a “lost” generation / Policies need to support new initiatives such as the Youth Guarantee, and should promote youth mobility among and across countries
Demographic change is a shaper of both security risks and security capacities. / Recruitment requirements will remain at a high level due to the complexity of international military missions and new technology, while population ageing will make it increasingly difficult to recruit enough qualified personnel./ Policies focusing on the improvement of employment conditions and the expansion of the recruitable population seem to be most promising. / An open exchange about best practices among European countries could help identify the most effective combination of policies.
Riding the Population Wave
Resistance against an increase in the retirement age is often based on myths that do not stand up to scientific evidence. / The economic burden of population ageing is not a demographic destiny, but depends on the productivity of tomorrow’s workforce. / Policies should promote information campaigns, life-long learning activities, and measures to support a comprehensive work-education-life balance.
Population on the Move
Restrictive immigration policies are ineffective in reducing migration inflows./ Efficient migration policies include quotas that attract foreigners with specific skills and knowledge, as well as support for the social inclusion of migrants and their families. / Policies should promote transnational contacts and opportunities for civic engagement to encourage target migrants. / Specific educational measures are needed, not only as an instrument for the inclusion of children of immigrants, but also for the promotion of social cohesion.
Mission not accomplished?
European countries have redoubled their efforts to support families. However, divergent birth rate trends suggest that no “magic formula” has been found. / A common characteristic among countries with stable or even increasing birth rates is a high degree of female labour force participation. / More could be done to slow down the “Rush-hour of Life”, the period when starting a family overlaps with career development. / Policies might include on-the-job training programmes following parental leave to facilitate the return to the labour market.
Europe's Citizens should have a Choice
Even a new baby-boom and high migration cannot prevent Europe from population ageing over the next decades. / Population ageing and shrinking labour force will affect the productivity of the economy if no further reforms are undertaken. / These reforms should include a redistribution of work over the life-course which will also require a new system of social protection.
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