PDF - Population ageing and its challenges to social policy (Population studies No. 50) (2006)
Population ageing is a global phenomenon which affects European countries in particular, putting increased pressure on the financial sustainability of current European social systems. This is a prominent, high-profile aspect of European societies arising from structural changes in fertility and mortality.Faced with the shrinking working-age population, policy makers are, or soon will be, facing the need to review their policies towards older workers. Policies should be developed to improve the employment prospects of older workers and create a favourable environment and institutional framework for active ageing. Although increased attention is being given to these issues at the international and national levels, this change is less obvious at the individual and corporate levels. To be effective, the concept of active ageing should be accompanied by a set of comprehensive measures in the areas of education, social policy, pension reform, employment and the working environment. The debate during the conference showed that governments have an important part to play and can no longer be content with a laissez-faire approach.This volume reviews the major demographic challenges posed by population ageing and its impact on policies in areas including health, employment, public expenditure and social relationships. It contains two studies written by Ronald Schoenmaeckers and Irena Kotowska. The introduction is based on Ronald Schoenmaeckers' presentation at the conference as the keynote speaker for the session on population ageing.