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Policy Insights

Researchers and collaboration partners of Population Europe as well as eminent experts from leading organisations contribute to the debate on demographic developments that are of public interest by providing insights into pressing policy issues.

by Erich Striessnig The future of the European project looks grim. The predominant narrative thread being woven through Europe’s media tapestry—that Europe’s near-decade-long string of crises has citizens shedding their European identities and, with it, their support for European integration—certainly gives that impression. [...]
The European Covenant on Demographic Change is bringing together the right people at the right time
by Anne-Sophie Parent Despite decades of analysis, policy responses to Europe’s rapid population ageing have focused almost exclusively on the survival of national social protection systems. This is too narrow. Rising dependency ratios (the ratio of people aged 65+ to those aged 15 – 64) certainly need attention, but population ageing brings a whole host of new policy challenges with it. The European Covenant on Demographic Change can help Europe identify and tackle them. [...]
Employment disparities leave ethnic minorities in the UK under-pensioned
by Athina Vlachantoni It’s no secret that some societal inequalities are not, shall we say, fair. Just do the numbers. Systemic income disparities between ethnic groups are found in many countries. Women earn less money than men in all of them. Pension gaps are the cumulative consequence. [...]
The missing side of the gender revolution
It’s time to complete the gender revolu­tion. We fought for women’s rights in the public realms of politics and work. It is now time to fight for men’s equal rights within families. [...]
Five takeaways from the FamiliesAndSocieties European Policy Brief on intergenerational dependence
by Daniela Vono de Vilhena Whether we are sandwiched or stretched in mid-life is a matter of metaphorical consistency. How we care for our grandparents, parents and children is a matter of policy that affects just about everyone. [...]
What population ageing does and does not mean for society
by Patrick I. Dick Ageism is, unfortunately, alive and well. In fact, it continues to be so pervasive that even its victims can be caught in the cycles that perpetuate it. [...]
Demographic policies can be thorny. Fam­ily policy is strongly linked with culture, and so easily and often politicised. Migra­tion quickly gives way to questions of iden­tity and economic uncertainty in a global­ising world. Yet both are complex and can take years to bear fruit. They require a strong foundation in scientific expertise— not ideological preferences for one model of living over another. [...]
by Ester Rizzi and Malgorzata Mikucka Do our children make us happier? It is a loaded question, but one with important policy implications—and therefore worth exploring. There is ample evidence to suggest that the birth of a child increases parents’ happiness in general. Survey results show a spike in happiness in the year of the birth of the first child. This jump is especially high for mothers, who reported an increase in happiness comparable to the drop reported following a divorce, about half a point (see Figure 1). [...]
Childlessness and the ex-post rationalisation problem
by Patrick I. Dick A couple of weeks ago, television on (the ever-encroaching) Valentine’s Day was predictably replete with romantic comedies. Most of the films I recognised had happy endings—appropriate on a day of upbeat marketing. In many cases, happy endings meant children, or at least the commitment to start a family. One network bucked the trend, however, apparently deciding that childlessness fit the bill. [...]
by Sebastian Königs Latvia faces a huge demographic challenge. Since restoration of its independence in 1991, the country lost more than a quarter of its resident population. In 2015, the population dropped below 2 million for the first time since the 1950s, down from 2.7 million in 1989. [...]

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