Europäische Union - 16.03.2005 - von EU
Europe's population is getting older. How will this affect us and what should we do about it?
The EU is facing unprecedented demographic changes that will have a major impact on the whole of society. Figures in the Green Paper on Demographic Change launched today by the Commission show that from now until 2030 the EU will lack 20.8 million (6.8 per cent) people of working age.
In 2030 roughly two active people (15-65) will have to take care of one inactive person (65+). And Europe will have 18 million children and young people fewer than today.
"The issues are much broader than older workers and pension reform. This development will affect almost every aspect of our lives, for example the way businesses operate and work is being organised, our urban planning, the design of flats, public transport, voting behaviour and the infrastructure of shopping possibilities in our cities," said Mr Spidla. "All age groups will be affected as people live longer and enjoy better health, the birth rate falls and our workforce shrinks. It is time to act now. This debate on European level is a first step."
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