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Policy Briefs

Population Europe’s policy brief series “Population & Policy Compact” comprehensively summarises cutting-edge research results and provides policy recommenda­tions on specific population topics. Within four pages, each volume provides a concise and succinct synthesis of key research findings by eminent researchers from the Network and other leading European experts.

Strengthening evidence- informed policymaking  on migration
Political decision-makers often rely on scientific evidence and expert knowledge as one of many inputs to make choices that align with their policy goals. However, given the increasing complexity of policy issues, time pressure, public expectations and institutional constraints, as well as the breadth of research and data available on migration now, identifying what is reliable knowledge is challenging.
Welfare states as lifecycle redistribution machines
European welfare states have evolved into sizable and resource-consuming institutions with a total social spending of around 28 percent of GDP and social policies affect every stage of citizens’ lives. But what do welfare states mostly do?
Das Leben nach der Pandemie
Für die Zeit nach der Pandemie sind jedoch langfristige soziodemografische Herausforderungen zu erwarten, die aus der Pandemie erwachsen und auf die die Gesellschaft und politische Entscheidungsträger*innen vorbereitet sein sollten. Dieser Policy Brief präsentiert Vorschläge für gesellschaftliche Veränderungen.
Cover of Report "Uncertainty in Future  Migration Flows: Where  Does It Come From?"
To support scientists and policymakers in their endeavour to study often complex and volatile migration flows, this policy brief aims to understand where most of the uncertainty in the future migration comes from, and what can be done to reduce or manage this uncertainty. This brief is based on research conducted in the framework of the Horizon 2020 Project QuantMig: Quantifying Migration Scenarios for Better Policy (
Vulnerabilities Beyond Age
Almost 14,000 unaccompanied minors – children under the age of 18 – registered as asylum seekers in the European Union (EU) in 2019, according to Eurostat. The chances that they will receive asylum depend significantly on the story they tell. To address dilemmas in unaccompanied minors’ asylum hearing procedures and how to resolve these issues, the VULNER project organised a High-Level Expert Meeting  in October 2020. The meeting was chaired by project researchers Hilde Lidén (Institute for Social Research) and Sylvie Sarolea (Catholic University of Louvain).
A Long-Term Vision for the Development of Rural Areas in Europe
Population decline in rural areas has recently gained importance on the European Union’s (EU) agenda and is currently among the priorities related to demographic change for the Vice-President for Democracy and Demography of the European Commission. A previous Population Europe policy brief provided recommendations on how rural areas can respond to these population changes while offering a good quality of life (Lines, 2020). In this current policy brief, eminent demography scholars present key insights from the discipline, aiming to contribute to the current debates on the future of rural areas in Europe.
How Can Europe Better Prepare for Future Migration Movements?
This policy brief aims to offer an overview of the current state of scientific knowledge on the root causes of migration; review the opportunities and limitations of migration estimates and forecasts regarding future trends; and provide evidence-informed policy recommendations. This brief is based on research conducted in the framework of the Horizon 2020 Project QuantMig: Quantifying Migration Scenarios for Better Policy (, and responds to a research interest of the Commission on the Root Causes of Displacement of the German Government.
COVID-19, pandemic, coronavirus
In light of the COVID-19 crisis, one of the most urgent policy issues is to gain a better understanding of the extent and ways in which demographics have determined different patterns of mortality in European countries due to the virus, and whether and how the pandemic and its economic consequences will affect population dynamics in the future. European demographers have been intensively working on these questions since the pandemic began. This policy brief offers an overview of the most important crisis outcomes identified by the demographic community in Europe to date, and points towards the pivotal trends that need to be tackled in the coming months.
Demographic Change: Are Equal Living Conditions Falling to the Wayside?
How can cities and municipalities respond to these changes and what steps can be taken to maintain the quality of life in regions with a shrinking population? What are the differences in the needs and demands of young generations, young families and older generations? These questions were the subject of a meeting held in Berlin on 20 January 2020 on behalf of a project funded by the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, in which experts from research, policy, local government and civil society in Germany discussed possible solutions.