Ageing populations and low birthrates should be seen as a challenge and an opportunity instead of a threat, according to a two-day forum on demographic change.
With a Communication published on 12 October 2006 and the first in a bi-annual series of Open Fora on demography, held on 30-31 October, the Commission attempts to focus on possibly positive aspects of demographic changes and on experiences of successful policy responses to demographic challenges.
In the Communication, the Commission defined five key areas for EU action:
- Support for demographic renewal by helping people balance work, family and private life;
- improving work opportunities for older people;
- increasing productivity and competitiveness by better involving both older and younger employees;
- harnessing the positive impact of migration by better integrating migrants into the labour market, and;
- ensuring sustainable public finances to help guarantee social protection in the long-term.