The forthcoming Green Paper on ageing will
reorient the focus of the European social policy. However, the scheduled 2020
publication has now been postponed to spring 2021 due to the pandemic. The
report on the effects of demographic change in the EU, which has now been
published, provides an overview of the Green Paper on ageing.
Drivers of demographic change
On June, 17th 2020, the European Commission
published its report on the impact of demographic change in the EU. This
is the basis of the Green Paper on ageing. The European Commission describes
the following five effects of demographic change for Europe:
- In Europe, the proportion of people of working age in the total
population is declining.
- Adjustments in health and welfare systems are needed to meet
the challenge of financing increasing age-related public expenditure.
- Regionally, different population trends can be expected. This
brings new opportunities and challenges in terms of investment,
infrastructure and access to services and the need to find new solutions
to support people during this change.
- Europe's share of the world population and GDP will become
comparatively smaller. Demographic change may also affect Europe's
position in the world.
- Demographic development and parallel ecological and digital
change are interdependent and often promote or accelerate each other.
Strategic foresight will, as a matter of course, be an essential tool in
identifying emerging challenges at an early stage and preparing policy
measures to address them.
New demands on social security systems
The demographic development is a challenge,
subjecting the social security systems in Europe to new demands. Work, pension
and financing concepts of social security systems must be continuously adapted
to changing framework conditions. In view of the Green Paper on ageing expected
in spring 2021, the umbrella organisations of the German Social Insurance
system welcome the discussion at European level on the consequences of the
change in demographic structure.
An average increase in life expectancy is
often accompanied by an increase in working lifetime. Therefore, preventive
approaches to maintaining employability throughout working lifetime are an
important component of occupational safety from the point of view of the German
Social Insurance system.
In addition to maintaining employability,
the fighting old-age poverty is equally important. Interrupted or incomplete
working careers, the expansion of employment in the low-wage sector and the
often poorer employment situation of women in the labour market describe risks
of poverty in old age that need to be eliminated.
In addition, the challenge in health and
long-term care insurance is to develop resilient and future-oriented systems in
line with the age-related prevention and care needs of the insured. Attention
must be paid to equal access to health and care services for everyone, which is
supported by digital methods in urban and rural areas.
You can read the complete statement of the