An overview of the Green Paper on ageing.

RB – 09/2020

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 DSV here.