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Yes, We Are Probably All Japanese Now

16-09-2019

This paper argues that the euro area has in recent years shared the same unfortunate concurrent systemic economic/financial crisis and demographic turnaround to an outright declining working age population that Japan suffered in the early 1990s. This combination will continue to depress euro area inflation dynamics for the foreseeable future, making it imperative that new fiscal policy initiatives, including public climate related investments, complement the ECB’s ongoing monetary policy stimulus ...

This paper argues that the euro area has in recent years shared the same unfortunate concurrent systemic economic/financial crisis and demographic turnaround to an outright declining working age population that Japan suffered in the early 1990s. This combination will continue to depress euro area inflation dynamics for the foreseeable future, making it imperative that new fiscal policy initiatives, including public climate related investments, complement the ECB’s ongoing monetary policy stimulus.

Zunanji avtor

Jacob Funk Kirkegaard

Demographic outlook for the European Union 2019

03-06-2019

This paper is the second in a series that EPRS is producing on the demographic outlook for the European Union (EU). Demography matters. The economy, labour market, healthcare, pensions, the environment, intergenerational fairness and election results – they are all driven by demography. The EU has seen its population grow substantially – by around a quarter since 1960 – and currently stands at over 500 million people. However, it is now beginning to stagnate, before its expected decline from around ...

This paper is the second in a series that EPRS is producing on the demographic outlook for the European Union (EU). Demography matters. The economy, labour market, healthcare, pensions, the environment, intergenerational fairness and election results – they are all driven by demography. The EU has seen its population grow substantially – by around a quarter since 1960 – and currently stands at over 500 million people. However, it is now beginning to stagnate, before its expected decline from around the middle of the century. With the world population having risen still more substantially and growth continuing, the EU represents a shrinking proportion of this population. The EU population is also ageing dramatically, as life expectancy increases and fertility rates fall below their levels in the past. This has serious implications across a range of areas including the economy, healthcare and pensions. Free movement within the EU and migration from third countries also play an important role in shaping demography in individual Member States and regions. The 'in-focus' section of this year's edition looks at pensions. It highlights that, whilst national reforms have largely successfully addressed issues around the sustainability of pension systems, concerns about the adequacy of pensions, particularly in the future, still remain.

Living in the EU: Demography

30-04-2019

Important effects of the ageing of its population will influence the future of the European Union (EU). The population is dramatically ageing, driven both by significant increases in life expectancy and by lower fertility rates than in the past. Population growth is therefore slowing down, along with an increasing old-age dependency ratio. Free movement within the EU, in particular east-west movement of EU citizens, has increased, reducing the population of some Member States, while increasing that ...

Important effects of the ageing of its population will influence the future of the European Union (EU). The population is dramatically ageing, driven both by significant increases in life expectancy and by lower fertility rates than in the past. Population growth is therefore slowing down, along with an increasing old-age dependency ratio. Free movement within the EU, in particular east-west movement of EU citizens, has increased, reducing the population of some Member States, while increasing that of others. These changes have serious implications across a range of areas, including the economy, labour market, healthcare and pensions. Hence, they deserve in-depth analysis.

Demographic trends in EU regions

29-01-2019

The European Union has seen its population grow substantially – by around a quarter in the five and a half decades since 1960 – to a current level of over 500 million people. However, this population is now growing too slowly, and is even expected to decline in the longer term. Issues of demography are likely to have a considerable impact on EU society. Most models used for analysing population trends suggest that, in the coming years, the EU's population will continue to age as a result of consistently ...

The European Union has seen its population grow substantially – by around a quarter in the five and a half decades since 1960 – to a current level of over 500 million people. However, this population is now growing too slowly, and is even expected to decline in the longer term. Issues of demography are likely to have a considerable impact on EU society. Most models used for analysing population trends suggest that, in the coming years, the EU's population will continue to age as a result of consistently low levels of fertility and extended longevity. Although migration may play an important role in the population dynamics within many of the EU Member States, it is unlikely that it can reverse the ongoing trend of population ageing. Demographic developments have various implications for European regions. Some of them, especially rural and remote ones, are experiencing a considerable decline in population numbers. This situation may further exacerbate the economic decline regions are already facing, and thereby widen the gap between wealthy and poor ones. Therefore, demography also severely affects the social, economic and territorial cohesion of the EU. On the other hand, the heavy concentration of population in urban centres also creates certain negative consequences, such as pollution and lack of affordable housing. Recent migration trends have improved the demographic balance in various EU regions; that said, migration affects EU regions in an uneven manner. The European structural and investment funds are mainly used for boosting economic growth in European regions, but they may also serve, in combination with other EU funds, to address issues stemming from demographic challenges. The EU also uses a number of instruments to address migration-related issues in its territories most affected by the issue.

The productivity riddle: Supporting long-term economic growth in the EU

03-12-2018

Productivity has a key role to play in the EU's long-term economic growth. The recent economic recovery has reversed the negative trend but concerns remain about long-term prospects. Productivity varies across the EU, with newer Member States reaching only about half the level of the older ones (EU-15) when measured in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) per hour worked, but showing a higher growth dynamic. The recent poor productivity growth in the EU raises a number of important policy questions ...

Productivity has a key role to play in the EU's long-term economic growth. The recent economic recovery has reversed the negative trend but concerns remain about long-term prospects. Productivity varies across the EU, with newer Member States reaching only about half the level of the older ones (EU-15) when measured in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) per hour worked, but showing a higher growth dynamic. The recent poor productivity growth in the EU raises a number of important policy questions. First, there is no consensus on the reasons behind it or the best ways to remedy it. There are also conflicting views regarding how long this situation will continue. Most economists believe the current weak growth trend may be explained by a combination of cyclical and structural economic weaknesses that need to be addressed by a mix of shorter and longer-term measures. Remedies for low productivity include increasing labour market participation, strengthening product market competition, encouraging demand, investment and lending to companies, as well as restructuring inefficient markets, disseminating technology and generalising digitalisation. In the EU context, particularly important factors conducive to productivity growth include creating a genuine single market for services, boosting digitalisation across economic sectors and addressing long-term challenges, such as the ageing society and rising income inequalities, as well as implementing long-awaited structural reforms in the Member States.

Sustainability of Health Systems

15-06-2018

This report summarises the presentations and discussions of a workshop on sustainability of health systems, held at the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday 15 May 2018. The aim of the workshop was to provide background to facilitate information exchange between health system experts and members of the ENVI Committee on the challenges and opportunities related to the sustainability of European health systems. The first part of the workshop focused on challenges to health system sustainability ...

This report summarises the presentations and discussions of a workshop on sustainability of health systems, held at the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday 15 May 2018. The aim of the workshop was to provide background to facilitate information exchange between health system experts and members of the ENVI Committee on the challenges and opportunities related to the sustainability of European health systems. The first part of the workshop focused on challenges to health system sustainability. Presentations looked at the sociodemographic challenges such as the aging of the population and the social determinants of health, at the impact of new technologies and access to medicines, and at the emergence of genetic and precision medicine. The second part of the workshop brought together different experiences of health system sustainability, looking at how the health systems of Japan, the Netherlands and Andalusia have adapted and are adapting to challenges to their sustainability.

Zunanji avtor

Mr Matthew JONES, Ms Alessia VALENTINO, Dr Rosa CASTRO, Dr Meena FERNANDES, Ms Jennifer MCGUINN, Milieu Ltd, Brussels, Belgium

Demographic outlook for the European Union

21-12-2017

This paper is the first in an annual series which EPRS will be producing on the demographic outlook for the European Union (EU). Demography matters. The economy, labour market, healthcare, pensions, the environment, intergenerational fairness and election results – they are all driven by demography. The European Union (EU) has seen its population grow substantially – by around a quarter in the five and a half decades since 1960 – and it currently stands at over 500 million people. However, it is ...

This paper is the first in an annual series which EPRS will be producing on the demographic outlook for the European Union (EU). Demography matters. The economy, labour market, healthcare, pensions, the environment, intergenerational fairness and election results – they are all driven by demography. The European Union (EU) has seen its population grow substantially – by around a quarter in the five and a half decades since 1960 – and it currently stands at over 500 million people. However, it is now beginning to stagnate, before its expected decline from around the middle of the century. With the world population having risen still more substantially and growth continuing, the EU represents a shrinking proportion of the world population. The EU population is also ageing dramatically, as life expectancy increases and fertility rates are lower than in the past. This has serious implications across a range of areas including the economy, healthcare and pensions. Free movement within the EU and migration from third countries also plays an important role in shaping demography in individual Member States and regions. The 'in-focus' section of this analysis looks at health and notes that the data, whilst inconsistent, suggests that people are not necessarily experiencing the extra life years without limitations to their usual activity.

European Accessibility Act

10-11-2017

To ensure the full participation of people with disabilities in society and to reduce the fragmentation of legislation governing access to products and services, the European Commission has adopted a proposal for a directive – often referred to as the European Accessibility Act. This proposal provides for a common EU definition of, and implementation framework for, accessibility requirements for certain products and services. It also aims to use the same accessibility requirements to provide a clear ...

To ensure the full participation of people with disabilities in society and to reduce the fragmentation of legislation governing access to products and services, the European Commission has adopted a proposal for a directive – often referred to as the European Accessibility Act. This proposal provides for a common EU definition of, and implementation framework for, accessibility requirements for certain products and services. It also aims to use the same accessibility requirements to provide a clear definition of the existing general accessibility obligation laid down in European law. Many stakeholders welcome the European Union’s wish to honour its responsibilities under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, but they have been divided on the means to reach this objective. In the European Parliament, the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) adopted its report on 25 April 2017. The report was then discussed in plenary on 15 September. The amended text was approved by 537 votes to 12, with 89 abstentions. At the same time, Parliament gave a mandate to start negotiations with Council. Although the Council has published three progress reports, in June and December 2016 and in June 2017, it has yet to agree on its position.

Agricultural education and lifelong training in the EU

24-10-2017

European farmers fulfil a vital role in providing safe and affordable food to nearly 500 million European citizens, and maintaining their countries' landscapes. However, the farming population is ageing and generational renewal has become a crucial issue. The farming sector needs to attract a new generation of farmers with the necessary skills to live and work in a challenging context. They will have to produce more efficiently while protecting the environment; contribute to the fight against climate ...

European farmers fulfil a vital role in providing safe and affordable food to nearly 500 million European citizens, and maintaining their countries' landscapes. However, the farming population is ageing and generational renewal has become a crucial issue. The farming sector needs to attract a new generation of farmers with the necessary skills to live and work in a challenging context. They will have to produce more efficiently while protecting the environment; contribute to the fight against climate change; meet society's demands regarding healthy and balanced diets; and keep up with increasingly rapid scientific and technological progress. It is therefore essential that farmers benefit from adequate agricultural education and training and acquire the various skills needed to adapt to a changing environment. On average, only 8.5 % of the present generation of European farmers have received full agricultural training, and 70 % have only practical experience. Initial training is a national competence and agricultural education systems vary widely throughout the EU. They provide the path to a wide range of careers in agriculture and forestry and deliver degrees in a number of disciplines, from diploma courses with a vocational orientation to bachelor degrees or doctorates in applied sciences. The current common agricultural policy places strong emphasis on knowledge sharing and innovation. It provides for specific measures to help farmers access advice and training throughout their working lives. Support is also provided for innovation via the European innovation partnership network for agricultural productivity and sustainability (EIP-Agri). In several recent resolutions, the European Parliament has stressed the importance of education and training for farmers, in particular as a way to foster their ability to work in an ever-evolving sector.

Migration into the EU [What Think Tanks are thinking]

30-06-2017

At the European Council meeting of 23 June 2017, European Union Heads of State or Government agreed to strengthen efforts to reduce irregular migration flows on the central Mediterranean route, notably by speeding up training, equipping the Libyan coast guard and improving cooperation with countries of migration origin. However, the European Council made limited progress on reforming the Common European Asylum System, with the migration debate clouded by refusal of some central and eastern European ...

At the European Council meeting of 23 June 2017, European Union Heads of State or Government agreed to strengthen efforts to reduce irregular migration flows on the central Mediterranean route, notably by speeding up training, equipping the Libyan coast guard and improving cooperation with countries of migration origin. However, the European Council made limited progress on reforming the Common European Asylum System, with the migration debate clouded by refusal of some central and eastern European countries to accept refugees under the existing quotas. This note offers links to recent commentaries and studies on migration from major international think-tanks and research institutes.

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