Boomer Era: European countries are facing the effects of an ageing population on labour and social structures as the number of European citizens aged over 65 is increasing rapidly. What measures can Member States take to accommodate the economy and societal structures of the old-age population?

Submitted by: Asmita Anand, Bobby Blaauw, Fiona Blair, Andreas Carter, Isis Gorissen, Anna Herbert, Felix Jacobs, Mina Jovanovic, Crimson Mahoney, Michaïl Marécha, Madelief van Poelvoorde, Paul Gerring (Chairperson, DE)

The European Youth Parliament aims to support Member States in accommodating an ageing population and the increased pressure it places on economic and social structures. Furthermore, the European Youth Parliament aims to strengthen the labour force and encourage healthier family and career balances.

The European Youth Parliament,

  1. Deeply concerned by the rapidly increasing difference between retirement age and life expectancy resulting in great pressure on the social security systems,
  2. Alarmed by the falling fertility rates within Member States and the replacement rate not being met due to inadequate parental leave policies, poor work-life balance, and financial distress surrounding childcare,
  3. Pointing out the increasing stress being put on the healthcare system as a consequence of the ongoing healthcare worker shortage and the increased demand for medical care,
  4. Noting with regret that discrimination negatively impacts the size of the labour force, with particular emphasis on parents, especially mothers, migrants, and older workers,
  5. Concerned by the shrinking of the active labour force resulting in a higher dependency ratio,
  6. Noting with deep concern that almost one-fourth of adults aged 65 and older are considered to be socially isolated, resulting in increased pressure on the mental healthcare system,
  7. Recognizing that in some Member States there exists a disparity between the legal retirement ages of men and women, further worsening the dependency ratio,
  8. Deeply alarmed by the impact of inaccessibility in infrastructure on the quality of elderly people’s lives, with an emphasis on housing, transportation and urban planning;
  1. Urges Member States to increase the legal retirement age and make the retirement age equal for all genders;
  2. Suggests Member States incentivise the extension of careers through income tax reductions for post-retirement age workers;
  3. Asks Member States to encourage a better work-life balance for parents by:
    1. improving flexibility of working conditions, such as remote or part-time working,
    2. allowing parents to divide parental leave as they see fit for their circumstances;
  4. Strongly suggests Member States prioritise making childcare more affordable and accessible through subsidisation;
  5. Encourages Member States to make training programs for workers more affordable and broadly available, particularly in sectors experiencing low labour supply, thus reducing structural unemployment;
  6. Further encourages Member States to tackle the barriers to employment that migrants face, such as increasing the accessibility of work visas;
  7. Calls upon Member States to facilitate the social reconnection of the elderly population through the aid of volunteering organisations, NGOs, community centres, and other social organisations;
  8. Proposes Member States to increase the accessibility of transportation by:
    1. offering discounts to all those over 65 to improve mobility,
    2. adjusting current transportation systems to be more inclusive through barrier-free designs,
    3. passing legislation to ensure infrastructure is accessible for elderly people;
  9. Appeals to Member States to improve the healthcare system in order to adapt it to the needs of an ageing population through:
    1. focusing on preventative healthcare,
    2. funding and implementing new healthcare technologies,
    3. broadening healthcare workers’ abilities.