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Demographic Jigsaw: Puzzling Out a Resilient EU

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In December 2019, for the first time, the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen assigned a portfolio containing demography as a policy area to Vice-President Dubravka Suica. As the predictions for the European Union are currently looking at a continent whose population median age is rising increasingly fast, the mission letter tasked the Vice-President to lead the response to the challenges presented by the demographic shift. The modus operandi indicated was to be supporting all the groups concerned – especially the children, the old and those living in rural areas.

However, this portfolio’s objectives were not supported by an EU-specific competence to act on demography, nor a dedicated budget or service in the Commission. Also at Member States level, this matter remains scattered around different national ministries dealing with health, territorial planning, regional, interior, among others. Nonetheless, the different areas and groups of the population impacted by demographic changes have presented in the past four years multiple entry-points for the European Commission to promote initiatives such as: the care strategy, the child guarantee and lastly the demography toolbox.




(Photo credit: Pixabay/Jorge Franganillo)