The European Union is facing unparalleled demographic changes that will have major implications for prosperity, living standards and relations between the generations. In mid-March, the Commissioner responsible for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Vladimir Špidla, presented the Green Paper “Confronting demographic change: a new solidarity between the generations”. The paper states that by 2030 the working-age population of the EU will have shrunk by 20.8 million (6.8%) compared to today. Roughly speaking, this means that two workers (aged between 15 and 64) will have to provide for one non-worker. The over-65 age group will increase by 52.3% or 40 million people by 2030, and the ratio of dependent persons (young and old) to the working population will grow from 49% in 2005 to 66% in the same period.
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