In contrast to other regions of the world, Europe is particularly
concerned by the current “demographic winter”: owing to the decline
in fertility, the average global birth rate has reached a record
low of 1.5 children born to each woman.
At the same time, Council of Europe countries have the oldest
population in the world, due to the high percentage of people aged
65 and over. This trend towards ageing of the European population
will accelerate in the future as a result of increasing life expectancy.
The resulting reduction in the proportion of the population of working
age in Europe creates a need to attract young skilled migrants.
As a consequence, to respond to present population challenges
and to make better use of the current important migration influx
into Europe, member States need to develop long-term political strategies
based on the needs of the labour market, striking a better balance
between family and working life and encouraging the rapid entry of
regular migrants into the labour market, while responding to their