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Policy Briefs

Population Europe’s policy brief series “Population & Policy Compact” comprehensively summarises cutting-edge research results and provides policy recommenda­tions on specific population topics. Within four pages, each volume provides a concise and succinct synthesis of key research findings by eminent researchers from the Network and other leading European experts.

Understanding and addressing the root causes of displacements
This policy brief aims to offer an overview of the current state of scientific knowledge on the root causes of migration; review the opportunities and limitations of migration estimates and forecasts regarding future trends; and provide evidence-informed policy recommendations. This brief is based on research conducted in the framework of the Horizon 2020 Project QuantMig: Quantifying Migration Scenarios for Better Policy (www.quantmig.eu), and responds to a research interest of the Commission on the Root Causes of Displacement of the German Government. [...]
COVID-19, pandemic, coronavirus
In light of the COVID-19 crisis, one of the most urgent policy issues is to gain a better understanding of the extent and ways in which demographics have determined different patterns of mortality in European countries due to the virus, and whether and how the pandemic and its economic consequences will affect population dynamics in the future. European demographers have been intensively working on these questions since the pandemic began. This policy brief offers an overview of the most important crisis outcomes identified by the demographic community in Europe to date, and points towards the pivotal trends that need to be tackled in the coming months. [...]
How can cities and municipalities respond to these changes and what steps can be taken to maintain the quality of life in regions with a shrinking population? What are the differences in the needs and demands of young generations, young families and older generations? These questions were the subject of a meeting held in Berlin on 20 January 2020 on behalf of a project funded by the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, in which experts from research, policy, local government and civil society in Germany discussed possible solutions. [...]
Wie können Städte und Gemeinden auf diese Bevölkerungstrends reagieren und wie kann die Lebensqualität auch in schrumpfenden Regionen erhalten werden? Wie unterscheiden sich diesbezüglich die Ansprüche von jüngeren Menschen, jungen Familien und der älteren Generation? Dies war Gegenstand eines vom Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend geförderten Projekts, bei dem Expert/innen aus Wissenschaft, Politik, Kommunalverwaltung und Zivilgesellschaft in Deutschland bei einer Tagung am 20. Januar 2020 in Berlin diskutierten. [...]
Why we need EuroCohort, GGP and SHARE in Europe
Evidence-based policy requires high-quality data. Fortunately, we are living through a data revolution, which is opening up new opportunities for better quality data to feed into the policymaking process. There is an increasingly diverse range of data to help inform policy. Data from censuses and population registers, as well as from surveys, biomarkers, digital trace data and genetic data can help us triangulate and deepen our understanding of populations. However, when there is such a vast amount of data available, there is a danger that we end up drowning in numbers. [...]
The latest evidence on wellbeing and childbearing decisions in Europe
Key messages: Policies and services aimed at promoting work-life balance should sustain the wellbeing of parents, in particular mothers. Wellbeing following the first child is a key element leading to the progression to the second birth. This parity should constitute the main target for family and fertility policies. Securing stable employment and decent housing at younger ages for men and women are necessary measures for the onset of childbearing and to close the gap between desired and realised fertility intentions in Europe. [...]
Securing support in old age
Key messages: The gender pay gap and other risks linked to the devaluation of care work should be tackled by combating ageism; creating and enforcing a minimum standard of care provision; creating a professional qualification system and career pathways for professional carers; and by supporting community-based care with solutions that respect the dignity and identity of care receivers. [...]
A buzzword or a standard for migration governance?
Key messages: ‘Vulnerability’ is increasingly becoming a commonly used term within the legal and policy discourse on asylum and migration. It serves as a tool that guides the implementation of legal and policy frameworks in a way that addresses specific needs and prevents the emergence of new ones. ‘Vulnerability’ has the advantage of contextualizing migration policy, since it draws attention to the concrete experiences lived by migrants, refugees and asylum seekers.  [...]
What kind of impact is social media having on adolescent health?
Key messages: Adolescence is a time when young people establish habits, certain health behaviours and lifestyles that shape later life outcomes, however, there is not a wide range of research on adolescents’ health. The number of adolescents dealing with mental illness, specifically depression, is growing. Depression at this young age can have implications on one’s future mental and physical health. Social media use among adolescents has resulted in higher levels of unhappiness, anxiety and depression among young people. [...]
Is there a rising risk of more unequal ageing?
Key messages: Inequality in old age is a reflection of individuals’ paths over their entire life course. Younger generations in Europe today are likely to face higher inequality in old age due to less stable labour market conditions and widening inequalities in the distribution of earnings and household income. The reduction of inequalities inside societies must be tackled by measures addressing both intra-generational and intergenerational inequalities. [...]

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