European Parliament adopts a resolution to tackle the demographic challenge
Tuesday 15 November 2011
On 15 November, the European Parliament adopted the resolution "Demographic change and its consequences for the cohesion policy", which was introduced by MEP Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė from Lithuania.
The resolution states that Europe has the oldest population and the lowest population growth rate in the world, while life expectancy is increasing. This causes demographic changes which vary widely from region to region. Tackling this challenge should therefore be done at the regional level.
The resolution also stresses that European structural funds must be better adapted to combat the effects of demographic change. In the 2007-2013 financial framework, Member States have foreseen up to EUR 30 billion in their activity plans, i.e. 8.5% of overall structural funds.
The European Parliament urges a more holistic approach, which takes into account the link between cohesion policy and better economic, social and territorial integration. There are urgent needs for better coordination - to achieve more flexible structural assistance - and for better inclusion at local level, allowing local communities to influence decision-making. This approach must also take into account the needs of children, young people and families and disabled and elderly persons. Finally, the Parliament stressed the need to revise pension systems in the near future, as they will not be able to effectively handle the changing demographic situation.
For more details, please see http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+TA+P7-TA-2011-0485+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN&language=EN