European Commission Launches Green Paper and Consultation on Europe’s Ageing Society

The European Commission has published a Green Paper launching a broad policy debate on the challenges and opportunities of Europe’s ageing society. It sets out the impact of this pronounced demographic trend across the EU’s economy and society and invites the public to express their views on how to respond to this in a public consultation.

Currently, 20% of the EU population is above 65, and is projected to reach 30% by 2070. Meanwhile, the share of people above 80 is expected to more than double, reaching 13% by 2070. Similarly, the number of people potentially in need of long-term care is expected to increase from 19.5 million in 2016 to 23.6 million in 2030 and 30.5 million in 2050.

The Green Paper frames the debate on ageing by setting out the speed and scale of the demographic changes in society, as well as the impact this has across EU policies and the questions this poses in response. This covers everything from promoting healthy lifestyles and lifelong learning to strengthening health and care systems to cater for an older population. It underlines the need to bring more people into the workforce, highlights the opportunities for job creation and looks at the impact of ageing on careers, wellbeing, pensions, social protection and productivity.

The accompanying public consultation is open to interested citizens and organisations from all Member States, including from regional and local levels. The results of the consultation will help to identify the support needed for people, their regions and communities. Based on the results, the Commission will consider possible policy responses to reinforce efforts in Member States and regions to address the issues around ageing.

The Commission is particularly interested in feedback from stakeholders and individuals that are either addressing ageing related policies, or that are affected by different aspects of ageing. Relevant stakeholders include public authorities in the Member States, regional and local authorities, social partners, stakeholders active on ageing-related issues in a wide sense, including health and care sectors, and education and training, as well as business organisations, academia, experts, think tanks and international organisations.

Responses can be submitted until 21 April 2021 (00:00 CET).

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