Eastern Partnership Seminar on Social Protection – adapting to an ageing population

(26 March 2012) Social protection is important to achieving inclusive economic development was the message of the union participants. Recent EU experience has confirmed the crucial role of social protection to mitigate the impact of the economic crisis. Getting adequate income and access to social services is reducing poverty, ensures social inclusion, guarantees financial stability and improves the efficiency of social spending. They are part of the modernization of social protection of the EU 2020 strategy and its implementation. Speakers referred to the “European policy against poverty” and its aim to alleviate poverty in the EU.

The ageing population is seen as an additional challenge. During the seminar it was emphasized that the aging of large parts of the population is a large-scale, unprecedented process. There is an increase in the percentage of senior persons (i.e. persons at the age of 60 and older) with a reduction in the percentage of children (i.e. aged up to 15 years), as well as the reduction in the percentage of working-age population (the persons aged from 15 to 59). It is expected that in 2047 the number of senior people will exceed the number of children in the world. In 1998 the number of senior people has already exceeded the number of children in the most developed regions where the process of population aging comes much faster.

Much discussion took place on adapting Eastern Partnership countries to the effects of demographic aging with the measures the unions and governments are proposing being debated. Several union colleagues participated and Vasily Shilov represented EPSU. The seminar took place 16 March 2012, Brussels.

More information at: http://www.easternpartnership.org/.