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Policy Brief

Mission Not Accomplished?

New evidence on parenthood in Europe

Key Messages

  • European countries have redoubled their efforts to support families. However, divergent birth rate trends suggest that no “magic formula” has been found.

  • A common characteristic among countries with stable or even increasing birth rates is a high degree of female labour force participation.

  • More could be done to slow down the “Rush-hour of Life”, the period when starting a family overlaps with career development.

  • Policies might include on-the-job training programmes following parental leave to facilitate the return to the labour market.