| Parliamentary Assembly
For debate in the Standing Committee — see Rule 15 of the Rules of Procedure
3 May 2006
Demographic challenges for social cohesion
Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population
Rapporteur: Mrs Vera Oskina, Russian Federation, European Democrat Group
Population projections for Europe show that after a century of natural population increase, the outlook for this century will be a natural decrease and excessive ageing of the population under the current fertility and mortality conditions. During 2003, the total population of Europe grew by 1.9 million people, corresponding to an annual growth rate of 0.23 percent. This trend parallels other important changes regarding Europe’s demography.
Although there are important differences, but also many common features facing policy makers at the global, regional and national levels, of varying importance to different countries and regions, there is agreement about some shared demographic challenges: close to zero natural growth; declining fertility; very low reproduction rate; changes in age structure of the population.
Variability is, at the same time, evident in some European populations for infant mortality, adult mortality, health conditions, poverty and mobility. There is a need for a global policy debate dealing with social and family questions, employment and migration, inter-regional relations, education, housing, living and working conditions, health, and the special situation of young and elderly people, public services and incomes. For this debate it is necessary to have a good demographic overview of the present situation and likely future developments. This is why a new European Population Conference, entitled Demographic challenges for social cohesion, was organised in Strasbourg, from 7-8 April 2005 by the European Population Committee (CAHP) in co-operation with the Parliamentary Assembly and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities.
The main aim of this report is to examine the priority topics discussed during the Conference and to provide future policy directions and options for action in response to population and developmental challenges.
Considering the demographic challenges affecting European countries, a number of priority areas that need policy-responses have been identified. The main problematic population issues are: policy implication of changing family formation (including relations between work and family life); population ageing and its challenges to social policies; impact of migration on society and policies, and policy challenges in relation to vulnerable population groups. These issues are crucial for the identification of priorities for action regarding social cohesion policies.
A. Draft resolution
1. The member states of the Council of Europe are facing unprecedented demographic changes that will have an important impact on the whole of society. Europe’s population is expected to decline by about 100 million by 2050 (medium variant of United Nations projections). In particular this trend is due to a continuing decline in fertility rates and an increase in life expectancy.
2. In most European countries there has been a significant drop in fertility rates. For Europe as a whole this rate was 1.8 children per women in 1990 and 1.4 in 2002. The level needed to replace the population is 2.1. However, among the countries of Europe, there are important differences. In 2003 the number of children per woman in Ukraine and the Czech Republic was less than 1.2, in Russia in 2004 it was 1.37, whereas in Albania and Turkey the number was above 2. The overall trend will contribute to the ageing of the society and to a reduction in the population.
3. As fertility continues to decline and life expectancy rises, Europe is currently at the forefront of the population ageing process. The decrease of the European population is accompanied by transformation in their age structures: the percentage of people between 20 and 64 will drop from around 60 percent today to about 50 percent in 2050 and the number of people 65 and older will increase from around 15 percent of the total population today to close to 30 percent in 2050. With present retirement rules there will be constantly less active persons to carry the burden of an ageing European population.
4. During the last two decades a number of general demographic trends bear testimony to changing family formation in Europe. These are: the slight rise in crude marriage rates in the majority of European countries; an increase in age at first marriage; rise in divorces; an increase in partnerships in the form of non-marital, or cohabitation unions. In some countries they represent more than half of the unions during the phase of family formation. Lone parenthood, one-person households, unmarried and same-sex cohabitation and reconstituted families have become more common and more socially acceptable living arrangements, as reported in social values surveys.
5. Since the middle of the 1980s, Europe as a whole has become a continent of immigration. In most European countries, immigration is today the most important component of population growth and in many countries immigrant births are an important contribution to the natural growth of the population.
6. The European context of population ageing and depopulation on the one hand, and the world context of decelerated population growth, on the other, represent considerable economic, social, cultural and environmental challenges and require concerted political action over the short, medium and long terms. Education, family planning and migration policies will require particular attention. Both population decline and population ageing require adaptive population-related policy measures in many domains of social and economic life.
7. The time has come to rethink social policies in Europe in order to take up the future challenge. While each country differs in its demographic structure and has its own specific cultural, social and economic traditions, there are a number of common principles and behaviours crucial to guide the reforms in Europe.
8. The Parliamentary Assembly, therefore, urges the Council of Europe member states to:
8.1. meet the new demographic challenges of modern societies with particular regard to: fertility and family-related policies, longevity and ageing-related policies and migration-related policies as key population issues for the identification of priorities for action regarding social cohesion policies;
8.2. with regard to policy implications of changing family formations:
8.2.1. promote a more child-friendly and family-friendly environment in all spheres of society, and more particularly in urban areas, including housing, child-care programmes, working conditions, fiscal policies, time schedules and recreational facilities so that children again appear as a welcome constituent in society. Promote child- and family-oriented values, inter alia, by introducing family and population issues in the educational system; rethink the organisation of the entire life-course perspective of work, parenthood and retirement;
8.2.2. adopt measures to enable individuals and couples to exercise their right to decide freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children. These measures should increase the access of individuals and couples to education, information and the means of regulating their fertility, including the treatment of infertility, regardless of overall demographic goals. Counselling and quality family planning services should be provided and supported to reduce the number of induced abortions;
8.2.3. assure that marital status and childrearing will no longer be seen as an insurmountable obstacle for women’s employment. The process of change has not taken place at the same pace or with the same intensity across Europe, meaning that a variety of strategies may be required to achieve a satisfactory work and family life balance. Work-time flexibility may, for example, be a necessary but not a sufficient condition for combining working and family life;
8.2.4. make work and education more compatible with motherhood in order to help avoid very low fertility levels. For instance the Nordic countries achieve high fertility rates with high female labour force participation;
8.2.5. make a special effort to reduce uncertainty for young adults with regard to access to housing and the labour market, which may explain international differences in family formation. The postponement of the transition to parenthood may arise as a rational response to socio-economic incentives;
8.2.6. fully use the experiences of the countries having best succeeded in creating a woman-friendly, child-friendly and family-friendly policy framework, thus also reaching relatively high fertility rates. Only a coherent general approach, combining financial, technical and tax-related instruments and policies can succeed in tackling family-related problems. Explicit employment, housing and education policies have an observable impact on family policies and family patterns;
8.2.7. carefully analyse the consequences of alternative family forms and divorce as well as the risk of poverty, low educational achievement, underemployment and other forms of social exclusion on the well-being of children and parents;
8.3. with regard to population ageing and its challenges to social policies:
8.3.1. ensure that the elderly, living alone, will have access to formal support (nurses, doctors, hospitals) and/or informal networks (friends, neighbours), to compensate for lack of family support or to replace it;
8.3.2. modify gradually the economy and social policies to take account of changes in the age structure of the population;
8.3.3. promote active ageing by giving the chance to work longer for those who are still in good health and who express a willingness to do so, and by giving more attention to the number of years worked, rather than age for entering retirement, in other words, more flexibility;
8.3.4. design diversified policies to enable people to work longer in healthy conditions, including by promoting possibilities for training and re-training;
8.3.5. adapt the health sector and long-term care to the increasing number of the most aged.
8.4. with regard to impact of migration on society and policies:
8.4.1. promote successful integration of migrants and their families, in particular those coming from non-European countries, into their new European host societies. Non-integration can lead to eruption of social conflicts and even become a fertile ground for terrorism and other crimes;
8.4.2. pursue migration related policies in concert between countries of origin, transit and destination, aimed at preventing irregular migration, addressing the root causes and thereby regulating the phenomenon of migration. International protection for persons in need is an important element of any migration management strategy. The strategy for an orderly management of migration adopted by the member states of the Council of Europe is an appropriate framework for bilateral and multilateral co-operation;
8.4.3. consider housing and employment policies, education and language policies, cultural and religious rights, political participation, access to citizenship and intercommunity relations as key policy measures in this context, particularly in the cities and urban areas of Europe;
8.4.4. ensure, with regard to this policy area, the respect for human rights and dignity, and for the social, cultural and political rights of migrants.
B. Draft recommendation
1. The Parliamentary Assembly refers to its Resolution…………..on demographic challenges for social cohesion.
2. It considers it likely that the recent, current and possible future changes in relational and reproductive behaviour are due to complex interrelations of accelerated changes in economic, cultural, ideological, social and technological features of advanced societies, and cannot be resolved by simple or unique and short-term policy measures. Increased attention must therefore be given to young people aiming at living together and becoming parents. This requires child-friendly, women-friendly and family-friendly policies and services. Relations between work, including education, and family-lifes must be improved in most countries.
3. It is necessary to deal with the problems of population decline and excessive population ageing without endangering the fundamental human and societal goals and achievements in Europe. One crucial objective should be to make “young” and “old” live together harmoniously. More intergenerational solidarity may be a key element in this. One obvious measure to cope with population ageing appears to be working longer.
4. Migration is an important demographic factor that must be taken into account for population policies and social cohesion policies. The challenge is to achieve orderly migration management and good integration policies, responding to labour market needs and to migrants’ aspirations.
5. The Parliamentary Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers:
5.1. take account of Resolution …. on demographic challenges for social cohesion for the Council of Europe’s work regarding social affairs in its broadest sense and in particular:
5.1.1. ask the Steering Committee on Social Cohesion (CDCS) to support a more family friendly environment to help the ongoing transformation and the de-institutionalisation of the family structure, and to stimulate the implementation of policies for promoting active ageing in order to guarantee intergenerational equilibrium;
5.1.2. ask the European Committee on Migration (CDMG) to accelerate the development of incisive and integrated policies to prevent discrimination and social exclusion of migrants; and seek to guarantee the basic rights for those individuals and groups in society that are at particular risk of becoming vulnerable;
5.2. assure that any work in this sector can have access to relevant demographic data and in this connection make sure of the availability of the European Population Network of the Council of Europe, including for the regular publication of studies of European population trends;
5.3. continue to assure access to information on future developments in demographic processes and their consequences to policymakers for their design of medium, and long-term social policies;
5.4. make the work and findings of the European Population Conference 2005 available to member states and other socio-economic partners and institutions for their work on policy developments in the areas covered by the Conference;
5.5. re-assess the relations between the Council of Europe’s work in different areas and the need for adequate demographic background studies, and take steps to support such studies;
5.6. encourage national statistical organisations and demographic institutes to periodically conduct nation wide specialised sample surveys in order to collect the information required to study the effects of relevant factors, including policy measures, on demographic processes;
5.7. encourage closer co-operation among the dispersed international research institutions in Europe for analysing and monitoring population developments and population-related policies in view of the need for broader, more sophisticated scientific discussions on these trends;
5.8. promote the collection, dissemination and use of demographic data at local and regional level, especially for use in defining social cohesion policies;
5.9. invite all the intergovernmental bodies and programs of the Council of Europe to use and adequately exploit available statistical information on population trends and changes where relevant. The annual publication of the Council of Europe on “Recent Demographic Developments in Europe” should be maintained, sustained and reinforced in this perspective.
C. Explanatory memorandum, by Mrs Oskina
1. Population projections for Europe show that after a century of natural population increase, the outlook for this century will be, on the contrary, a natural decrease and excessive ageing of the population, under the current fertility and mortality conditions. During 2003, the total population of Europe grew by 1.9 million people, corresponding to an annual growth rate of 0.23 percent. In this context the share of Europe in the world population has declined from some 25 percent at the beginning of the 20th century to a current 12 percent, and a further decrease is foreseen.
2. The data for the major European regions (see Appendix, figure 1) obviously mask decreased differentials for some individual countries that are ahead or behind in particular demographic processes. Due to the different initial age structures and fertility levels that vary between countries, differences in the share of elderly will continue to persist. Changes in population size and population age structure are determined by changes in the basic demographic variables, i.e. partnership and family, fertility, longevity, and migration movements.
3. These population trends have a major impact on society and information on future developments in demographic processes and their outcomes are essential for policymaking, both for short, medium and long term planning. Population projections provide this information, and are generally considered as necessary tools for policymaking.
4. There is, therefore, an urgent need for politicians and policy makers at the global, regional and national levels to come to grips with the serious demographic challenges faced and to influence fundamentally the future course of events. Both the European context of population ageing and depopulation on the one hand, and the world context of decelerated population growth, on the other, represent considerable economic, social, cultural and environmental challenges and require concerted political action over the short, medium and long terms especially in the field of education, family planning, migration policies and social cohesion.
5. The global panorama appears even more complex ten years on from Cairo. New challenges and old still bring population changes to the attention of experts and policy makers. A number of conferences, round tables and technical meetings at regional and global levels have been organised as contributions to the assessment and progress in the implementation of the "ICPD" (International Conference on Population and Development – Cairo, 1994) program during these years. The tenth anniversary of the ICPD program offered the occasion for countries to look back at the work done and to establish the new challenges to be faced in the near future. In Recommendation 1564 (2002) on the “State of the world population” and Recommendation 1683 (2004) on “Population trends in Europe and their sensitivity to policy measures” the Parliamentary Assembly stressed that much work still needs to be done to fulfill the Cairo program and indicated population and development as priorities on the Council of Europe’s agenda.
6. An analysis and comparison of the situation regarding demographic challenges for social cohesion in member countries of the Council of Europe seemed to be the right response to finding better approaches regarding population and social policies. The Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population instructed its sub-Committee on Population in close co-operation with the Council of Europe’s European Population Committee (CAHP) to assess the feasibility of organising a European Population Conference to hold a broad debate on the issues raised above.
7. The Parliamentary Assembly started to explore the interest among members of the Assembly for a closer dialogue with the European Population Committee through the organisation of hearings as from 2001 with a view to organising a new European Population Conference. The European Population Committee expressed a preference for organising “a high-level conference that would bring together the results of the Committee’s work during 2001-2004” and present them to policy-makers to create a platform for communication between demographers and decision-makers. The Conference was aimed primarily at national representatives of Ministries concerned with population and migration issues in member states, together with representatives from the other Council of Europe bodies. The organisation of the European Population Conference was entrusted to a Joint Organising Committee (JOC) consisting of representatives of the European Population Committee (CAHP), the Parliamentary Assembly, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe and the European Committee for Social Cohesion.
8. The European Population Conference organised by the Council of Europe is one of the most successful examples of intergovernmental action. The recommendations which have emerged from it will undoubtedly have a major influence on the choices and decisions which will inevitably be made by the Council of Europe authorities. It is to be hoped that the competent bodies will immediately act on the findings of the conference, in liaison with the other Council of Europe bodies concerned and, in particular with national institutions responsible for population matters ensuring continuity of intergovernmental action in the population field.
9. In preparation for the Conference a preparatory seminar was organised in Bratislava (23-24 September, 2004), hosted by the Slovak Parliament, in co-operation with the European Population Committee, the Sub-Committee on Population and the Social, Health and Family Affairs Committee of the Assembly, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe and the European Committee for Social Cohesion (of the Council of Europe). This seminar preceded and provided important input for the 2005 European Population Conference. During the debate the matters of high priority were: the problem of fertility rate and family structures - closely linked to the general transformation of society leading to a new households and family type as a consensual union and premarital cohabitations; population ageing and its consequences with regard to housing, care facilities, distribution of medical service, in the light of the importance of elderly people as valuable components of society’s human resources; the impact of migration on the host society and its effect on countries of origin.
10. In consideration of the demographic challenges affecting European countries a number of priority areas, that need policy-responses, were identified for discussion during the Conference. The main demographic selected topics were: policy implication of changing family formation (including relations between work and family life); population ageing and its challenges to social policies; impact of migration on society and policies; and policy challenges raised by vulnerable population groups. These issues are the key population issues for the identification of priorities for action regarding social cohesion policies.
11. Moreover, a wide background of documents were prepared by a group of experts on demographic trends with the intention of providing participants of the conference and particularly policy-makers with key information for decision-making regarding demographic changes and the risks they pose for social cohesion. The CAHP carried out a study concerning the priority topics addressed for the discussion: the implications of changing family formation; population ageing and its challenges to social policies, migration and population issues; social cohesion and priorities for action. The choice of these conference topics combines demographic issues and policy responses to demographic challenges, and represents the four pillars on which new policies will be built. From a demographic standpoint, they correspond to the main fields of social conflict prevention and regulation.
12. The introduction of the works was entrusted to Charlotte Höhn, chair of the CAHP. She prepared a report called “Demographic challenges for social cohesion: a review of the work of the European Population Committee 2001-2005” that represented an important action plan to implement the works of the Conference. She drew particular attention to the following policy areas: demographic changes as a challenge to social cohesion, changing family formation, population ageing, international migration and socially vulnerable population groups. The main aim of this study was to provide an overview of research and activity carried out by the CAHP over the last few years. The European Population Committee has during its years of existence contributed to the understanding of the relationship between social policy and demographic issues in Europe. The results of its work have been and still are published in the series "Population studies" and in the Annual Reports on recent demographic developments in Europe. These reports, which cover all 46 Council of Europe member states plus Belarus, are designed to help policy-makers find answers to many relevant current questions.
13. The results of the conference have been summarized by the General Rapporteur Professor Raimondo Cagiano de Azevedo, in the conclusions of the Conference. The report includes the findings of the European Population Conference and at the same time provides the tools to implement future policy directions and options for action in response to population and developmental challenges.
14. The main aim of this report on demographic cohesion is to bring together the results of the discussion presented during the Conference. The report is shared in respect of the main issues of the debate; policy implications of changing family formation; population ageing and its challenges to social policies; impact of migration on society and policies; population issues; social cohesion and priorities for action. The preparatory documentation and the Proceedings of the Conference have been used as a main reference for the preparation of the document.
15. Your Rapporteur wishes to thank Professor Raimondo Cagiano de Azevedo for his important work for the elaboration of the present report. His participation in the Committee’s debates on the report has been most helpful and stimulating.
II. Policy Implications of Changing Family Formation
16. The session highlighted a number of general demographic trends regarding changes in family formation in Europe. These include: declining marriage rates; increase in the age of first marriage; greater propensity on the part of couples to cohabit rather than marry; fall in overall fertility rates and specifically fertility within marriage and increasingly delayed childbearing. European countries are facing the second demographic transition where decline in the fertility rate and in mortality are the main features.
17. The crude marriage rate rose slightly in the majority of European countries, though in others it fell or remained stable. In 2002 the vast majority of countries had marriage rates between 4 and 6 per thousand (Russia had 7.1). Cyprus remained on top with the very high rate of 13.5 per thousand. The declining marriage rate is accompanied by an increase in age at first marriage. In all the countries in transition, the average age of women at first marriage, which had been relatively young, started to rise in the 1990s. In this group of countries in 2002, women generally got married between the ages of 23 and 26, which is still earlier than in western and, in particular, northern countries. Sweden is the only country where the average age of women at first marriage is over 30 (30.1). It is also high in Denmark (29.6), Liechtenstein (29), Norway (28.6), Finland (28.5) San Marino (28.4), Switzerland and the Netherlands (28.2).
18. In this context partnership in the form of non-marital, or cohabitational unions has risen in Europe since the end of the 60s and is now common in most of the European countries. In some countries they represent more than half of the unions during the phase of family formation. People choose cohabitation instead of marriage for diverse reasons.
19. The spread of uncertainty in young adulthood, like in the case of an increasingly difficult access to the labour market, as well as other factors such as increases in the return to education, may explain trends and international differences in family formation. In fact the postponement of the transition to parenthood may arise as a rational response to socio-economic incentives.
20. In connection with societal and demographic changes that have become known as marking a Second Demographic Transition, in some countries an increasing number of individuals and couples started to become parents at later ages. Important changes in the transition to parenthood started in some parts of Europe already before the end of the 1980s. Furthermore, the traditional order between marriage and parenthood has increasingly been reversed. For what concerns the relationship between parenthood and partnership behaviour, the share of births from unmarried parents has grown during the last twenty years in all countries. At the beginning of the new millennium, in almost all European countries the share of extramarital births is greater than 10%, and in some of them it is greater than 50% (Russia in 2003 had 29.2 %). In short, in all European countries the rise in mean ages at first birth and the increase in extra-marital fertility have continued without almost any interruption. Childlessness has also become increasingly more accepted and widespread, although large differentials persist among countries.
21. Looking at country-specific variations in childbearing for women the TFR (Total Fertility Rate) reflects the average actual experience of women, and it shows a remarkable diversity among European countries (i.e. from 2.35 children per woman in Moldova to 1.65 children per woman in Germany). Italy and Spain, were the first countries to experience lowest-low fertility levels during the 1990s (1.18 for Spain and 1.21 for Italy) and they were joined by several Central and Eastern European countries (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Latvia, Russia (1.37), Slovenia and Ukraine). Turkey has the highest level of fertility in Europe: 2.43 children per woman in 2003. It is the only country in Europe where generation replacement is guaranteed because the rate is above 2.1. Certain other countries, such as Ireland (1.98 in 2003), are close to the replacement level. In general, the highest total fertility rates occur in northern Europe, with levels of between 1.5 and 2 children per woman. The highest is Norway (1.8), followed by Denmark (1.76), Finland (1.76) and Sweden (1.7). (See Appendix, figure 3)
22. Jointly with the postponement of the transition to parenthood, childbearing is more often being compressed into a smaller number of years at a later age, particularly among well-educated women: first births are now more likely to occur as women approach the age of 30, compared with age 25 in 1980 (28.5 in Sweden compared with 24.3 in Bulgaria and 26.3 in Russia in 2003, Council of Europe, online); fertility rates have declined, resulting in smaller family sizes.
23. A rise in childlessness is another characteristic of recent fertility behaviour. The average share of couples without children: one of the three basic family forms, marked an increase during the 10-year period: from 35.1% to 35.9%. A remarkable decrease can be noticed in the share of couples with children: from 52.9% in 1990 down to 48.3% in 2000. It is due mainly to the relative increase in the share of lone mothers from 9.9% to 12.3%. This share is amazingly high in comparison to that of lone fathers, which virtually did not change during the 10-year period.
24. In this context society needs to ensure intergenerational solidarity and continuity and this requires a substantial proportion of larger families. As far as longevity is concerned, individuals aspire to a long and healthy life but society needs to provide an age-friendly environment while maintaining intergenerational equity in all domains of social life.
25. The governments should respond to socio-demographic change by adapting legislation to take account of alternative living arrangements, but their policies also shape practices by determining the framework governing family life. The challenge facing policy makers at the turn of the twentieth century was whether, and if so how, to address the consequences of the spread of de-institutionalised family living arrangements in a context where the well being of families is competing with other policy priorities, and where government intervention in family life is not universally accepted by societies. The net result is that the family–state relationship and family solidarity assume different meanings across Europe, which are, in turn, reflected in socio-demographic statistics.
26. The relationship between parenthood, education and work is also crucial. One of the great socio-economic changes of the last decades, in most European countries, has been the increase in female education and labour force participation. Concerning the relationship between work and fertility, in contrast to what was happening twenty years ago, fertility is nowadays higher in countries with higher female labour force participation. Making work (and possibly education) more compatible with motherhood is definitely one of the keys to avoid very low and especially lowest-low fertility levels.
27. Marital status and childrearing are no longer seen as an insuperable obstacle for women’s employment, but the process of change has not taken place at the same pace or with the same intensity across Europe, meaning that a variety of strategies may be required to achieve a satisfactory work–life balance both within and across societies. Work-time flexibility may, for example, be a necessary but not a sufficient condition for combining living and working as a family. Comparative analysis of European data illustrates that the Nordic states can be singled out as the countries where changes in attitudes towards unconventional living arrangements have developed furthest, and where de-institutionalised family forms are most readily accepted and practised; instead in some parts of Southern, and Central and Eastern Europe, more traditional views about marriage and parenting often prevail.
28. Public authorities at national and local levels, non-governmental organisations and other institutions concerned should support non-coercive family planning services, which respect the values of recipients, together with maternal and child health programmes and related reproductive health services. Family planning associations and other non-governmental organisations concerned should be involved in the design and implementation of these programmes and services. In promoting the development of family planning services, particular attention should be given to the quality of the services.
29. A more child-friendly and family-friendly environment should be promoted in all spheres of society such as housing, child-care programmes, working conditions, time schedules and recreational facilities. Create a more child-friendly environment, more particularly in urban areas, and providing more childminding facilities in all domains of social life – work, leisure, social gatherings – so that children again appear as a welcome constituent in society; promote child- and family-oriented values, inter alia, by introducing family and population issues in the educational system; rethink the organisation of the entire life-course perspective of work, parenthood and retirement.
30. The debate during this session clearly indicated that the Nordic countries have best succeeded in creating a women-friendly, child-friendly and family-friendly policy framework, thus also reaching relatively high fertility rates. It was suggested during the debate that only a coherent general approach, combining financial, technical and tax-related instruments and policies can succeed in tackling family-related problems. Employment, housing and education policies have an observable impact on family policies and family patterns.
III. Population Ageing and its Challenges to Social Policies
31. Population projections for Europe show that after a century of natural population increase, the outlook for this century will be, on the contrary, a natural decrease and excessive ageing of the population. It is the combined consequence of declining fertility at low and extremely low levels (at below or around replacement level) and of increased chances of survival at old ages. At the first stages of the process, declining fertility is the dominant factor; but gradually low mortality at older ages is becoming the driving force of the process.
32. Ageing is the most outstanding demographic factor in Europe, which is by far the oldest world region (median age in Europe is 37.7, compared to a world level of 26.4). In the space of 40 years the median length of life of Europe’s population (15-member EU) has risen from 33 to 44 years. During the same period – among other developments – 11 generations of adults have moved from the older half to the younger half of the population: this shift, which is taking place in many European countries, paradoxically reflects the theoretical image and real fact of biological rejuvenation combined with demographic ageing. Regional variations, which had been very marked in 1950 – 26 in the Centre and East, 36 in the West - had virtually ceased to exist by 2000 and would be scarcely more pronounced in 2050, the maximum being reached in the South with a figure of 52. (See Appendix, figure 4 A and 4 B)
33. In the member states of the Council of Europe over a period of 100 years, the proportion of people aged 60 and more will triple, from a mere 11% in 1950 to no less than 33% in 2050. These are astonishing figures. However, it should be said that population ageing is not exclusively a European phenomenon. Population ageing affects the entire world population. The greatest difference is that the proportions are higher in the European countries than in the rest of the world. The absolute size of the elderly more than doubled during the last 50 years from 46 to 112 million people and their relative weight in the total population increased from 8% in 1950 to 14,7 % in 2000 and this will grow up to 27,9 % (medium variant) in 2050. Europe has the oldest population in the world.
34. In particularly the increase of the 'oldest old', (the population of 80 years of age and over) represent one of the most important feature of the population ageing. The oldest old typically account for slightly more than 15 percent of the population 60+, but reach in some countries more than 20 percent. The highest figures are currently found in Switzerland and Denmark (20 percent), and Norway and Sweden (22 percent). The age group featuring the greatest increase in Europe is that of the over-80s: 50 years ago it accounted for only 1% of the population, but it now represents 3% and is expected to reach 10% in 2050, accounting for more than a quarter of the over-60s as against 15% today. Regional differences are very marked in this respect: 4% in 2000 in the North, as against 2% in the Centre and East and 3% in the West and South. The European record will no doubt be held by Austria, Italy and Switzerland, with about 13%. Currently there are 21 million above the age of 80 in Europe and the figure is expected to increase to 60 million in 2050.
35. In terms of the elderly, the dependency ratio is at least 25 elderly persons per 100 persons of working age in Italy (27.1%), Sweden (26.6%), Belgium (25.7%), Greece (25.6%), France (25%) and Spain (25%). In terms of young people, the dependency ratio is at least 40 under-15s per 100 persons of working age in Albania (51.7%), Turkey (46%) and Azerbaijan (43.9%). The overall dependency ratio, ie the ratio between the total number of “dependent” persons (young people and the elderly) and the working-age population is highest in Albania (60.7%), which has a high fertility rate, and lowest in Andorra (37.8%), where people of working age form a large proportion of the population (72.5%). Russia has 41%. (See Appendix, figure 2)
36. Taking stock of the fact that the increasing share of the elderly in Europe's population on the one hand, the decrease of the young on the other hand, may be viewed as a successful outcome of improved health and living conditions, effective health and social policies and increased life expectancy combined with low fertility. Moreover demographic ageing is expected to accelerate in the next 10 to 20 years and will have a direct impact on national, regional and local social policies. Europe will experience in the coming decades a temporary acceleration of population ageing. The big ageing wave will start around 2010 when the post-war 'baby boom' cohorts will begin reaching the age group of 65+ and the 'baby bust' cohorts of the 1970s and following years will reach middle age.
37. One of the most direct consequences of population ageing was a reduction in the proportion of the active population and an increase in that of pensioners. Young people might fear they would have to pay twice: once for existing pensioners and a second time for themselves when the time comes. This risks exacerbating an intergenerational conflict.
38. Population ageing poses challenges for the adapting of the pension system, for reforming the health sector and for assuring long-term care for the increasing number of elderly, in particular the oldest old. This has to be done while the number of persons in working age as well as the number of children and youth decrease. It will be vital to raise the rate of activity in the highest age brackets of the working-age population in order to ensure the economic stability of the continent and enable it to shoulder the unavoidably growing burden of social protection and pension and health systems. One evident change would be to reform the pension system to become more flexible, allowing those who are in good health to work longer if they so wish.
39. Likewise those who are still in good health – and who express a willingness to do so – should be given the chance to work longer. More attention should probably also go to the number of years worked, rather than age for entering retirement. In other words, “flexibility” appears to be the key element in the discussion. Furthermore, “a more flexible work-retirement transition is one example of active ageing – the capacity of people, as they grow older, to lead productive lives in the society and economy”.
40. The proportion of people aged 60 or more who are still in the work force is extremely low. Data for the European Union countries show that in the northern countries 15% of men and 4% of women are working; in the southern countries the proportions are 12% and 3% respectively. In the western European countries the share of economically active people slumped as low as 7% among men and 2% among women. Persons aged between 60 and 65 who are still in the work force account for a minority of that age group. Between 60 and 65 only 26% of men and 9% of women are still working.
41. From the beginning of the 20th century until about 1970, age at retirement among men has been clustering around 65 years in most European countries. Since the 1970s the average age at retirement has been decreasing continuously. In 2003, for the European Union countries, the age at retirement was 61, with strong differences between countries. In Slovenia and Poland the age reached respectively 56.7 and 58, whereas in the United Kingdom and Sweden the median age at retirement was more than 63 years old.
42. Diverse policies need to be in place, notably to enable people to work longer in healthy conditions; to ensure private and public investment in the qualification and re-qualification of workers in the labour market; to provide incentives, especially for the employment of young people and the senior workforce; and finally, to encourage and negotiate real changes in enterprise culture in order to recognise changing family patterns and allow for greater compatibility between family life and work.
43. Whether the family or institutions care for the oldest old, has to be reconsidered. The living arrangements of the elderly are changing. Today, only a small fraction of the elderly live in institutions. The percentage is typically higher among the oldest old and highest among the non-married. With increasing childlessness, divorce and separation, or not marrying at all, the future elderly will more frequently live alone, have no partner and/or no children. Mutual support in informal networks (friends, neighbours) or formal support (nurses, doctors, hospitals) will have to replace family support, if unavailable.
44. Elderly people’s lifestyle has a substantial impact on their socio-economic situation, and increasingly so as they grow older. Owing to excess male mortality, the great majority of persons living alone are very old women. In Western, Northern and Southern Europe, 14% of those in the 60-79 age group and 27% of the over-80s live alone. In Central and Eastern Europe the proportion is smaller but on the increase, especially among women over the age of 80. The same regional variations exist in terms of persons living in institutions, who account for more than 7% of men and about 12% of women over the age of 80.
45. In conclusion the image of the demographic ageing changes radically. It is important to adapt gradually the economy and social policies to changes in the age structure of the population. The perception of the social status of the elderly is changing. In the near future the aim will be to transform something that today is perceived as a problem into a new resource and investment for global wealth and social integration. In other words, the definition of ageing and the status of the elderly must be reconsidered and rethought; and at the same time, the social and economic policies will have to face the demographic situation: the lack of adequate interventions, measures and services to increase the elderly in employment is in contrast with the demographic ageing that has been ongoing and which has been forecast to accelerate in the next 50 years.
46. One crucial objective should be to make “young” and “old” live together harmoniously. More intergenerational solidarity probably is a key element in its implementation. One obvious measure to cope with population ageing appears to be working longer. Future intergenerational solidarity and fair burden-sharing among generations are at stake. The relationship between life cycle and age groups must therefore be reconsidered, to take account of the fact that the ageing of the population is accompanied by a biological rejuvenation. The conference participants stressed the need to revise the concepts of ageing, accompanied by possible reform of the existing systems of financial transfers, spread over the entire life cycle rather than concentrated on the elderly.
47. The European Population Committee has underlined that active ageing is to be pursued as a coherent public policy in view of enhancing the social role and the capacity for autonomy in old age promoting the quality of life of all citizens in ageing societies. Governments should provide and promote appropriate services, care and support to elderly people in need, implement strategies to increase the number of disability free years and improve their quality of life. Active ageing policies are not only confined to central levels but must involve local and regional authorities as well as these are appropriate level to undertake and co-ordinate concrete action to respond effectively to the consequences of ageing and dejuvenation.
IV. Impact of Migration on Society and Policies
48. In most European countries, Migration is now the main component of population change. What happens to migration is more important than it has ever been for Europe’s population future. In this light, it is difficult to see migrant numbers falling. Major perturbations aside, mutuality of interest will see current rates of movement continuing and more of Europe becoming a zone of net attraction. After the 1980s, the types and origins of migration have changed. Labor migration was followed by family reunification and asylum migration gained in importance. Then migration flows became more diverse and included temporary as well as permanent migrants, increasingly from developing countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America. Migration also turned more female: almost half of today’s migrants are women. The proportion of migrants and persons of foreign origin in different European countries shows great variations.
49. It was stressed that while demographic decline can be temporarily cushioned through migration flows, it can not be achieved only through a deliberate policy of replacing the declining age groups.
50. Migration is perhaps the most "European" feature to emerge from the present demographic situation, not only because it concerns all European countries, but also because of the similarity between the behaviour patterns and problems of migrant workers and their families in all the countries of Europe, the parallel adoption, as a result of the recession of measures concerning migrant workers and the need to establish relations between governments and the authorities responsible in the various countries in order to deal with migration problems,
51. The changing composition of the immigrant population and the emergence of second and third generations of immigrant background put integration policies high on the agenda. Housing and employment policies, education and language policies, cultural and religious rights, political participation, access to citizenship and intercommunity relations, etc. became key issues of the policy debate and for policy measures, particularly in the cities and urban areas of Europe.
52. Family reunion, for instance, is generally accepted as a fundamental human right and is the rationale behind both immigration and emigration of close family members. Other types of movement have quite different roots and proceed in different ways. Educational institutions play a leading role in the promotion and selection of foreign students and there are no quotas. In contrast, in some countries quotas have been established for entry schemes for low-skilled workers in the hospitality and food-processing industries field. Quite different circumstances surround retirement migration, where moves are usually personal decisions, tempered by social security and pension arrangements.
53. It is urgent for the countries of origin, transit and destination to take concerted measures aimed at preventing irregular or clandestine migration, addressing the root causes and thereby limiting and preventing the phenomenon of transit migration. International protection for persons in need is an important element of any migration management strategy. The strategy for an orderly management of migration adopted by the member States of the Council of Europe is an appropriate frame for bilateral and multilateral co-operation.
54. In most European countries migration and asylum laws were profoundly modified. Legislation and jurisdiction for legal migrants evolved generally in favour of the respect of human rights. Nevertheless, in certain regions of Europe, irregular migration dominated the flows and the protection of undocumented migrants from exploitation and abuse became a major human rights issue.
55. The “management of migration” includes not only the migratory flows and the partnership between countries of origin, transit and destination, but also the integration of immigrant populations, the respect for human rights and dignity, and the social, cultural and political rights of immigrants. The prevention of discrimination and social exclusion of migrants is of particular importance for the successful integration and positive contribution of migrants to the human, social and cultural capital of Europe. However, fundamentalism has brought with it a new terrorism threat for European society that needs to be eliminated.
56. Integration processes from the point of view of immigrants themselves are taking place primarily at a local level, and circumstances may vary significantly. Local policies for integration should have the highest priority. Also from the perspective of the city there is a priority argument. The city receives newcomers of all sorts and of different origins who bring with them different cultures, religions and lifestyles. Their integration into the social embroidery of the city is not a natural process: social segregation, social exclusion and marginalization of certain of these immigrant groups is luring, threatening the social cohesion in these cities. The city and its neighbourhoods are the places where important things happen that affect the daily lives of all residents, including immigrants. It is also the level where loyalty of newcomers and old residents can be gained, or for that matter, lost.
57. One of the key elements is the access to information. In order to ensure this access, member states of the Council of Europe as well as non-member states must establish a system of information exchange that will facilitate effective management of migration. A future European Migration Agency could be asked to coordinate this task. Particular attention should be paid to inform vulnerable people especially women and children in transit about the regulations in the countries of destination and transit. It is important to ensure that the information disseminated is reliable and precise, that it serves as a warning about possible risks to which a migrant in an irregular situation may be exposed to. Wider discussion of the economic, social, cultural and political implications of migration should be undertaken in order to elaborate or improve appropriate policies. Governments of sending and receiving countries should improve the dissemination of information and promote consultations with a view to reaching a broad national and international consensus on these questions. Cooperation in the field of migration should also be considered in the context of economic, social and legal cooperation.
58. Present immigration policy has three objectives: (a) to stabilise the immigrant population; (b) to control migration and (c) to devise new forms of co-operation with immigrants countries of origin. Quite apart from concerns over economic problems, there now seems to be a heightened European awareness of individual rights. At local level most debates on matters of principle relating to migrants are losing momentum as people become more used to living with immigrants. As a result, it is becoming possible to find satisfactory solutions and conduct new experiments - e.g. immigrants are increasingly being given the right to vote in local elections. Governments should aim to prevent uncontrolled influxes of migrants by making potential migrants aware of the legal conditions for entry, employment and stay in host countries through information activities in the countries of origin, making use of the facilities of international organisations where appropriate. Governments should also take action against traffickers and employers of irregular immigrants. For efforts to be successful, countries should devote appropriate financial, political and diplomatic resources to migration policies.
59. It is a basic function of Governments to ensure the protection of all residents -- including foreigners -- against violence and the threat of violence. Governments should urgently develop strategies to combat racist or xenophobic violence and threatening behaviour, especially through information, education and the promotion of tolerance and understanding.
V. Population Issues and Social Cohesion: Priorities for Action
60. A long-term population policy approach needs to address fertility, longevity and migration at the same time. Policies with regard to immigration and an ageing population can be expected to obtain results within a relatively short time, whereas policies focusing on fertility can only be expected to have effects after a longer period.
61. As we have just mentioned in the previous chapters, three demographic features impact in particular on social cohesion and patterning of solidarity towards vulnerable groups:
i. Union formation and dissolution: early family formation, before young adults have acquired the skills to be sufficiently competitive on the labour market, or divorce among low earning or non-working adults, are risk situations that may require major social solidarity towards children and young and middle-aged adults.
ii. Population ageing: population dejuvenation due to below-replacement fertility provokes excessive population ageing, and leads to population decline and changes in patterning of intergenerational solidarity; population greying due to increasing longevity at higher ages contributes also to population ageing and exacerbates the need for social transfer of resources and services for the elderly and particularly for the oldest old.
iii. Migration: geographical mobility can imply disruption of social networks, lack of adequate housing, and difficulty of social integration. However, in view of the labour market demand for "foot loose" labour, reluctance to migrate to another town or region both among nationals as well as for immigrants can be a cause for poverty and unemployment.
62. Social cohesion covers many dimensions in the relations between individuals, groups and generations. Important demographic dimensions of social cohesion apply to within- as well as between-generational processes: the first include gender relations, parent-child relations, and adult-elderly family relations, as well as the relations between the majority population and specific vulnerable groups; the second relates to intergenerational equilibrium and continuity in society. Needs for social policy adaptations and reforms are often presented in the form of competition for limited resources between different population sub-groups, children vs. aged, natives vs. immigrants; individuals vs. families.
63. Across the European Union, much of the debate over alternative family forms has focused on the consequences of divorce, in particular the risk of poverty, low educational achievement, underemployment and other forms of social exclusion. In countries where divorce and extramarital birth rates are relatively high, children living in lone-parent families are found to run a greater risk of falling into poverty than children in two-parent families. During the 1990s, in EEC countries, the increase in the number of children in need of care because their parents had abandoned them was seen as a direct consequence of family breakdown. Such findings heightened the debate about whether governments should intervene to try to reduce the incidence of family breakdown and promote particular family forms that are considered to be more socially secure. The question was also raised about the extent to which the state should play a role in relieving hardship during life transitions and should assist families in managing changing situations.
64. Policies, which aim at increasing birth rates, will need to address issues such as gender relations, family and work relations, environmental concerns, child and family values, and the organisation of a person’s life-course. Regarding longevity, people aspire for a long and healthy life but society needs to provide an age-friendly environment while maintaining intergenerational equity in all domains of social life. Policies addressing population greying include activating the older adults, adapting the social protection system, and reinforcing intergenerational solidarity. Policy options with respect to migration also need to address several action domains: the regulation of migration flows, the integration of migrants and the improvement of the integrative interaction between immigrants and the native population.
65. For central and eastern Europe, transition raised some basic problems. The first was the growth in gender inequality, attended by a collapse of the health, retirement pensions, prevention and education systems. This has led to greater female poverty and increased trafficking in human beings. Controlling this form of crime was just as necessary as enhanced concern for the rights of the victims.
66. The revised Strategy of the Council of Europe defines social cohesion as the capacity of a society to ensure the welfare of all its members, minimising disparities and avoiding polarisation. A cohesive society is a mutually supportive community of free individuals pursuing these common goals by democratic means.
67. The approach to social policy which was developed by European countries in the twentieth century has often been referred to as the “European social model”. Noting that this approach now faces a number of questions and strains, the Strategy of the Council of Europe recognises that the challenge for Europe in the twenty-first century is to find ways of adapting these social policy achievements to changing needs and changing circumstances without losing their essential character.
68. The Strategy sets out a human rights-based approach to social cohesion, but notes that the legal protection of rights has to be accompanied by determined social policy measures to ensure that everyone in practice has access to their rights. There has to be a particular commitment to making a reality of the rights of those who are at particular risk of becoming vulnerable, such as children and young people, migrants and ethnic minorities, people with disabilities and the elderly.
69. At the same time, it is recognised that an exclusive stress on the rights of the individual cannot form a sufficient basis for social cohesion. A society is cohesive when people also accept responsibility for one another. It is therefore necessary to rebuild a sense of society, of belonging, of commitment to shared social goals.
70. The Strategy goes on to show how the State, economic actors, civil society and families all have an essential part to play in maintaining and strengthening social cohesion.
71. Change in the size, growth and composition of the population, like population ageing, are of key importance to policy-makers practically in all domains of life. Also family policies and migration policies as well as social protection and social inclusion policies are closely related to core demographic processes. An overview about demographic trends should be taken into account in developing and implementing policies with respect to housing, health and social care, education and labour market, economic and physical planning and the environment.
72. Summarising, the main components of demographic change are:
i. Natural growth close to zero: the terms used include decline, crisis or even breakdown of the demographic engine in Europe. They indicate a situation of stagnation, or even decline. Yet 40 years ago, reducing fertility was one of the objectives of Council of Europe countries. Today it has become a source of anxiety, with the emphasis on the resulting potential for conflict, while it is often forgotten that reduced fertility is, at least in part, the consequence of deliberate decisions and choices.
ii. An ageing population: this was subject to two interpretations, and could be seen either as a threat to the European social model or a triumph. Overcoming premature mortality is undoubtedly one of humanity's most significant achievements. However, the fact that people are living longer, coupled with declining birth rates, is forcing governments to review the social arrangements and institutions affected by these trends.
iii. Migration: more than the other areas, the notion of migration evokes conflict. However, the conference discussions suggested that there was still great scope for mobility, if properly organised and regulated. Such mobility is a natural human activity.
73. The European Population Conference 2005 of the Council of Europe considered these problems from four standpoints: the family, ageing, migration and social cohesion.
74. As far as the family is concerned, it noted that childbearing has been increasingly delayed and is now concentrated into a short period of the life cycle. This is a fundamental change: family size has fallen and couples are deliberately deciding not to have children. The implication is that governments need to intervene in an area that remains very private, but one where there is an undeniable public interest. One new challenge that still has to be resolved in Europe is that of the deinstitutionalisation of the family, with numerous organisational models now applicable to couples, households and families.
75. From a political point of view these family related problems require a multidimensional approach. There are no ready recipes or solutions but there are a number of possible instruments - financial, technical and tax-related - and policies. Employment policy has a major impact on family policy and the reverse also applies. The observable relationship between fertility and employment in Europe suggests the need for a family policy, proceeded by an effective employment policy. It is necessary to reconcile work and family life and introduce family-friendly employment policies. The fact that child rearing is not equally shared means that most of the burden continues to fall on women. There is a clear need for even greater state support for working parents based on increasing female labour force participation rates and the move towards gender equality.
76. In conclusion, the available evidence would suggest that a more holistic, integrated and sensitive approach to policy is needed, involving different levels of government, the private sector, civil society and families themselves. Such an approach implies joined-up, or lateral, policy thinking, across employment, working practices and time structures, housing, health and education, in an effort to raise awareness of the impacts of policies in all these areas on family life and to create more cohesive and family-friendly societies.
77. The main outcome of slow and declining population growth is population ageing, which currently is the most outstanding feature or Europe’s demography. In the current age structure of the European population the proportion of the population aged 65 or over is rapidly approaching the 20% mark, particularly in Mediterranean Europe, and in 2050 will be close to 30%. This ageing process affects and will continue to affect all the regions of the world -albeit with sometimes significant variations - including ones close to Europe. An ageing population is sometimes portrayed as a threat to the European social model. In fact, in Europe it is the very definition of ageing that is becoming outdated. Unfortunately this is not without political consequences. Throughout Europe attempts are being made to adjust retirement systems to take account of new demographic patterns, but a complete change is now needed in how ageing and old age is defined, and thus in how old people are being seen.
78. The relationship between life cycle and age groups must therefore be critically examined, to take into account the fact that the undeniable and unavoidable ageing of the population is accompanied by a biological rejuvenation of those same persons. The conference was unanimous that the risk of losing a valuable asset in terms of human resources through negligence or sometimes waste must be avoided. This is an issue that must induce demographers to revise their definitions and concepts. The revised definitions must of course be accompanied by other measures, aimed at securing greater flexibility and reforming the relevant institutions, retirement systems and the perceptions of working life. It may also be necessary to modify existing systems of financial transfers, which are currently concentrated on the elderly but could be spread over the entire life cycle. Today this might mean transferring more to certain younger persons, who may have greater needs than other segments of the population.
79. Underlying any reform is the idea of a contract based on intergenerational solidarity that goes
beyond the notions of the baby boom and the baby boomerang generations and sees ageing not as a
threat but as a triumph of civilisation, and thus as an asset to be used rather than a burden on
80. The “management of migration” includes not only the migratory flows and the partnership between countries of origin and destination but also the integration of immigrant populations, the respect of human rights and the social, cultural and political rights of immigrant populations. The prevention of discrimination and social exclusion is of particular importance for the successful integration and positive contribution of migrants to the human, social and cultural capital of Europe.
81. The conference discussions on the impact of migration on society and politics were rich and varied. However the point was made on a number of occasions that Europe is becoming a focus of various population flows both internally and from outside - migration is the main component of population growth in 26 of the Council of Europe's 46 member countries - and is being transformed into a major area of migration and mobility. Demographic replacement may take place, but it will not be achieved through a deliberate policy of replacing the declining age groups with migrants. It is possible to think about migration in terms of a fresh vision of society and its relationship to neighbourhood and proximity. Such a policy review could help to relieve demographic pressures, a role that migration has performed in most European societies over the centuries.
82. Centres of globalisation on the boundaries of Europe, appropriate co-operation policies, properly thought-out local and neighbourhood policies - all these pose a test for Europe's maturity, and require a coherent political response. The key elements of such a strategy would include transparent admission procedures for immigrants, institutional and other forms of subsidiary at European, national, regional and local levels, comprehensive integration policies with several dimensions and in a number of areas, active local integration strategies and tactics, involving partners at different levels and active policies to secure equality.
83. Social cohesion is one means of preventing and settling conflicts and has become an absolute priority. Between now and 2020 or 2030 it would be necessary to reorganise society to cope with these demographic challenges. By 2030 the baby boom and baby bust generations will have reached, respectively, retirement and working age. The challenge is to establish age-friendly policies while maintaining the intergenerational balance. How politicians react will depend on their welfare ideologies, the social and economic pressures to which they are exposed and the resources available.
84. This demographic view of migration therefore calls for major institutional changes throughout Europe, in terms of how we view citizenship, more transparent procedures, access to services and institutions and, naturally, entitlement to the components of economic dignity. Migration is closely associated with work, but research has shown that housing is the most sensitive issue. Government should play an active role in such areas as housing, combating social exclusion and helping families to adjust to changing family patterns.
85. Clearly ideological questions arise, but the fundamental ideology that underlies the notion of social cohesion is that of European welfare - the European social model that no one at the conference questioned. Indeed the majority of contributors stressed its importance as one of the pillars of greater Europe.
86. The intergenerational issues took precedence over all the others. The discussions raised questions concerning intergenerational compatibility and intergenerational patterns. However, the key notions are those of mobility and migration - of resources, skills, experience, know-how, traditions and cultures - which only a society firmly rooted in intergenerational solidarity can produce. Europe is in this position, as is the Council of Europe. This is the challenge that the conference issued to society, governments and decision makers in general: the need to make intergenerational solidarity the pillar of social reform, whether in the field of pensions, retirement systems, unemployment or whatever. This is the policy that is most likely to succeed.
see the APPENDIX
* * *
Reporting committee: Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population
Reference to committee: Doc. 10371, Ref. 3038, 24.1.2005
Draft resolution and draft recommendation unanimously adopted by the Committee on 13 April 2006.
Members of the Committee: Mr Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu (Chairperson), Mrs Tana de Zulueta (1st Vice-Chairperson), Mr Doros Christodoulides 2nd Vice-Chairperson), Mr Jean-Guy Branger (3rd Vice-Chairperson), Mr Pedro Agramunt, Mr Küllo Arjakas, Mr Hüseyin-Kenan Aydin, Mr Ryszard Bender, Mr Akhmed Bilalov, Mrs Mimount Bousakla, Mr Ivan Brajović, Mr Márton Braun, Lord Burlison (alternate: Mr Bill Etherington), Mr Christopher Chope, Mr Boriss Cilevičs, Mrs Minodora Cliveti, Mrs Elvira Cortajarena, Mr Franco Danieli, Mr Joseph Debono Grech, Mr Taulant Dedja, Mr Nikolaos Dendias, Mr Abilio Dias Fernandes, Mr Karl Donabauer, Mr Mats Einarsson, Mrs Lydie Err, Mr Valeriy Fedorov, Mrs Daniela Filipiová, Mrs Margrét Frimannsdóttir, Mrs Gunn Karin Gjul, Mrs Angelika Graf, Mr John Greenway, Mr Andrzej Grzyb, Mr Ali Riza Gülçiçek, Mr Michael Hagberg, Mr Holger Haibach, Ms Gultakin Hajiyeva, Mr Doug Henderson (alternate: Mr Michael Hancock), Mr Jürgen Herrmann, Mr Ilie Ilaşcu, Mr Tadeusz Iwiński, Mrs Corien W.A. Jonker, Mr Oleksandr Karpov, Mrs Eleonora Katseli, Mr Tibor Kékesi, Mr Dimitrij Kovačič, Mr Petr Lachnit (alternate: Mr Tomáš Jirsa), Mr Geert Lambert, Mr Jean-Marie Le Guen, Mr Younal Loutfi, Mr Jean-Pierre Masseret (alternate: Mr Rudy Salles), Mrs Ana Catarina Mendonça, Mr Morten Messerschmidt (alternate: Mr Morten Ĝstergaard), Mr Paschal Mooney, Mr Giuseppe Naro, Mr Xhevdet Nasufi, Mr Gebhard Negele, Mr Pasquale Nessa, Mrs Annette Nijs (alternate: Mr Leo Platvoet), Mr Kalevi Olin, Mr İbrahim Özal, Mr Cezar Florin Preda, Mr Alojz Přidal, Mr Gabino Puche, Mr Milorad Pupovac, Mr Martin Raguž, Mr Anatoliy Rakhansky, Mr Marc Reymann, Mr Branko Ružić, Mr Samad Seyidov (alternate: Mr Aydin Mirzazada), Mr Luzi Stamm (alternte: Mrs Rosmarie Zapfl-Helbling), Mr Sergiu Stati, Mrs Terezija Stoisits (alternate: Mr Ewald Lindinger), Mrs Elene Tevdoradze, Mr Tigran Torosyan, Mrs Ruth-Gaby Vermot-Mangold, Mrs Iliana Yotova, Mr Akhmar Zavgayev, Mr Vladimir Zhirinovsky (alternate: Mrs Vera Oskina), Mr Serhiy Zhyzhko, Mr Emanuelis Zingeris.
N.B. The names of the members who took part in the meeting are printed in bold.
Secretaries of the Committee: Mr Halvor Lervik, Mr Mark Neville, Ms Dana Karanjac