Europe: demographic transition is a possible goal
Not just sustainability and digital. One of the objectives that Europe sets itself in its transition to the future after the painful crises of 2008 and the COVID-19 emergency is precisely the growth of the demographic factor, and its revaluation.
According to the report drawn up by the Croatian Dubravka Šuica the vice president of the EU executive arm, and her team, there are three essential elements to be analyzed: ever-higher life expectancy, the low birth rate and the aging population. These will be the factors that the vice president believes will affect the budgets of the welfare and health systems as well as work.
If it is true that the birth rate, which declined sharply between the 1960s and 1990s, recovered in the 2000s to then stabilize once more, the pandemic certainly does not help. Among the factors that induce young and not-so-young couples to have a child are a stable job, real career prospects, a widespread care network, flexible hours and shared workloads, also getting fathers involved.
Childcare policies are the responsibility of the Member States, but unity is strength and Europe has already developed a plan dedicated to rural areas with assistance at its center, with crèches and easier access to childcare facilities.
But what does the Recovery Plan foresee in this regard? Many – continues vice president Šuica – will be the concessions for accessing services dedicated to children, from kindergartens to school canteens, parks and sports. Without forgetting the rights of children in terms of social and economic inequalities that the pandemic has certainly exacerbated. And she concludes: “By 2030, the target is to reduce risk of poverty for 15 million people, of which 5 million will be children”.