Aging Europe

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Description:

The touchstone of every elaboration on Europe's future is globalisation and how to respond. Obviously globalisation and all it comes along with it matters. And by and large Europeans are not adapting very well. Yet the biggest problem facing their continent (and their welfare states) is not the result of a new twist in the new emerging playing field. It would exist even if Europeans had the world stage to themselves. The problem is demography, the fact that the old continent is growing even older. (Source: [1] Economist)

According to new research conducted by the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) the composition of Europe’s demographic will undergo dramatic changes. By 2025, one in five Europeans will be more than 65 years old, up from 16 percent in 2002. This will result in a big gap between an increasing number of retired citizens and a decreasing number of working citizen. Retired citizen tend to consume their savings as working citizen create most of those savings. Therefore, the absolute level of savings will plunge across most of Europe. That is a threat to Europe’s high living standards and economic well-being.


Enablers:

  • Advance medicine and preventions
  • High living standards and conditions
  • More health awareness
  • Declining birth of new babies

Inhibitors:

  • Productivity growth in European countries
  • European Labour Market Reform, more flexible labour policies and increase the incentives to work
  • Support and facilitate very talented people not only the people whom we think need help.
  • Attract talented people from around the world.
  • Create a climate of entrepreneurship.
  • Attenuate immigration policies for talented people whom like to stay in Europe.
  • Create world-class educational institutions.
  • Getting more woman into the workforce


Paradigms:

The aging of European populations will threaten living standards and prosperity. A new sort of welfare state needs to arise. However, the European members are still scattered on which fundamentals they have to build this new welfare state. A model based on individualism and collective facilities only accessible for the more prosperous civilians like the American model or a more Northern Europe (Scandinavian) approach, a model based on solidarity and unity with collective facilities for all its civilian.


Experts:

  • United Nations
  • EU
  • Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
  • Centraal burau voor de statistieken (CBS) for Dutch figures and trends


Timing:

  • 2000: Trend identified
  • 2005: Several parties and governmental institutions have done research on this matter and they all show that action is needed.
  • 2010: Period in which the steepest increase of people turning 65 years or older is expected
  • 2020 - 2025: One in five Europeans will be more than 65 years old.


Web Resources: