Problems of Demographic Ageing in European Social Policy Agenda

Vida Kanopienė, Sarmitė Mikulionienė

Abstract


European Union is facing the process of demographic aging - the continuing growth in the number of the older generations (those over 65 years) will change radically the age structure of the European Union. According to the recent Eurostat population projections, the proportion of the youngest (0-14 ) will decrease from 16,4 percent in 2004 to 13,4 percent in 2050, respectively the percentage of working age population (15-64) will change from 67,1 to 56,7 percent and the share pf the oldest (65 and over) will increase from 16,5 to 29,9 percent. The accelerating aging of the Europe population has had a tremendous and ambiguous impact on policy making and poses challenges to the economic system (labour force, consumption, investments and savings), education (development of adult education system), social care (new forms and strategies, development of long-term care) and health care systems.
Collaboration at the EU level on demographic ageing issues has developed in the beginning of the 1990s – the policy measures targeted to overcome (or to slow/minimize) the negative consequences of this process were integrated to the key economic, employment and social (population and health policy) areas. These means are based on active aging approach and aim to raise the average quality of lives of the elderly and to increase their participation in employment and other spheres of social life.
Within the overall framework of the EU approach to aging common challenges for the health policy have been identified – to achieve access to high quality health care and long term care for all while ensuring the financial sustainability of systems.

Keywords


demographic ageing; population age structure; social policy; active ageing; health care

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"Social Work" ISSN online 2029-2775 / ISSN print 1648-4789