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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.

Toward a new policy of life course flexibility
Key Messages Even a new baby-boom and high migration cannot prevent Europe from population ageing over the next decades. Population ageing and shrinking labour force will affect the productivity of the economy if no further reforms are undertaken. These reforms should include a redistribution of work over the life-course which will also require a new system of social protection.   References: [...]
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. [...]
New insights on migration and integration policies in Europe
Key Messages: Restrictive immigration policies are ineffective in reducing migration inflows. Efficient migration policies include quotas that attract foreigners with specific 
skills and knowledge, as well as support for the social inclusion of migrants and 
their families. Policies should promote transnational contacts and opportunities for civic 
engagement to encourage target migrants. [...]
Policy options for the ageing baby boomer generation in Europe
Key Messages: Resistance against an increase in the retirement age is often based on myths that do not stand up to scientific evidence. The economic burden of population ageing is not a demographic destiny, but depends on the productivity of tomorrow’s workforce. Policies should promote information campaigns, life-long learning activities, and measures to support a comprehensive work-education-life balance. References: [...]
Demographic change and Europe’s security capacities
Key Messages: Demographic change is a shaper of both security risks and security capacities. Recruitment requirements will remain at a high level due to the complexity of international military missions and new technology, while population ageing will make it increasingly difficult to recruit enough qualified personnel. Policies focusing on the improvement of employment conditions and the expansion of the recruitable population seem to be most promising. [...]
Economic crisis leads to demographic crisis for the young
Key messages: Young individuals suffer disproportionally from the crisis, especially in terms of high unemployment and economic uncertainty, which affect their ability to start an independent life. A delayed transition to adulthood has negative effects on economic and demo- graphic outcomes later in life, including fertility levels. Youth exposed to the economic crisis need immediate support and relief in order to avoid becoming a “lost” generation. [...]
Key Messages:  The impact of family dissolution on children varies considerably and lasting effects persist for only a minority. To prevent negative consequences of family dissolution on children’s development, policies should prevent economic downward mobility and provide support to children and parents to adapt to new family dynamics and forms. Life chances of children depend more strongly on the socio-economic background of their parents than on the family form they are living in. [...]
Challenges of policymaking for a mobile Europe
Key messages: Europeans are increasingly mobile in terms of commuting and travelling, whereas rates of permanent change in residence across borders are scarce. Relocation rates within countries are stable or are even going down. Experiences of mobility are very heterogeneous and circumstances that lead people to be mobile change over the life course. Policies should support the development of “skills for mobility”, particularly at younger ages, but older people should also not be ignored. [...]
Migration and political challenges in times of crisis in the EU
Key messages: A European migration policy is hampered by structural and institutional limits on cooperation between the Member States and between different policy fields at the European level. The divisive issues of today’s migration debate are fears of alleged “welfare shopping”, mixed flows of migration and the secondary movement of migrants, which are all situated in grey areas between the current institutional baskets. [...]
Public finances and intergenerational transfers
Key messages: Economic consequences of population ageing are not just determined by demographic change, but to a large extent by the characteristics of the economic life cycle. The concept of the life cycle deficit provides a new way to measure dependency based on the difference between age-specific consumption and production. Maintaining the fiscal sustainability of the public transfer systems in many European countries requires a rethinking of the average economic life cycle. [...]