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Takeaways from our stakeholder events in the first Quarter

Podium discussion at Futurium Museum in Berlin. Rows of audience, a panel of 6, A person speaking on a projected image

Population Europe connects scientists with stakeholders from policy, business and civil society. These discussions are not only fruitful for research and policy planning, they also help raise new research questions and uncover policy challenges for the future.

Here are some of the most important takeaways from the cross-sectoral discussions we have hosted since the beginning of the year.

Challenge 1: Improve science-informed policy advice

Looking at the early stages of the Covid pandemic, the communication between societal sectors could have worked better. At the Berlin Demography Days 2024 in January, 50 international experts spoke to an international audience about best practices in crises resilience. 

At a High-Level Policy Panel, experts discussed how the different sectors, particularly science and policy can work together better in future crisis situations. It is essential, they stressed, to distinguish clearly between science and science-informed policy advice.

The other panels of Berlin Demography Days spoke about crises resilience in the light of climate change adaptation, age-friendly policy planning and other megatrends.

Video file

Watch the recordings of all panels at Berlin Demography Days here.

Challenge 2: Connect Demography and Democracy

How can population policy and population science take a more active role in facilitating social cohesion? This was one of the questions discussed at the February event of our Tuesday Dialogue series. To celebrate European Day of Demography, we asked: "Quo Vadis, Demography?" - what will be the role of population research in the future? Katharina Spieß, Director of the German Federal Institute for Population Research, and Marc Luy, Director of the Vienna Institute of Demography, presented their perspectives. Participants from policy, civil society and the press joined the discussion after. 

How can citizens participate more actively in designing their demographic future? The option to further expand science communication was discussed, along with other participative formats. For example, citizens' councils were mentioned as places where science could be more actively involved.

In 2024, Population Europe and its partners will further test participative formats such as citizen engagement events, intergovernmental meetings and scenario-building workshops.

Challenge 3: Make Data Accessible to Researchers

Europe has a world-leading standard in data privacy and ethics, and for good reason. But even when respecting all legitimate privacy concerns, the access to population data for research could be improved massively. This was a point of discussion at a meeting of leading data research experts within the EU-funded Mapineq project. 

Jani Erola, Principal investigator of Mapineq, recommends that science institutions and science policy should act together to move towards more smooth collaboration and better trust between researchers and policymakers. He argues that a richer data landscape would not only help European research stay competitive, but also improve science-informed policy planning.