Saturday, January 28, 2012

Demographic trends in Europe

Today the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted the Resolution "Demographic trends in Europe: Turning Challenges into Opportunities." Rapporteur was Hon. Nursuna Memecan (Turkey, Liberals).
The report was prepared together with a number of experts from the Vienna Demographic Institute (amongst other organisations) and after a hearing involving UNFPA. It should be noted that the report was launched by a group of prominent anti-choice Parliamentarians entitled "Demographic Winter in Europe". Thanks to the efforts of the progressive Parliamentarians the report now corresponds to the latest scientific research and international notions.
The reports underlines that "Europe has to urgently develop necessary policies and strategies to cope with changing demographics in order to maintain its power and influence in the world. It is important to transform demographic challenges into opportunities so as to ensure sustainable economic growth and international security, and that the values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law remain relevant not only in Europe but in the rest of the world. (para 2)
The report stresses that: "People are the wealth of nations.. it is not only the number of people that is important, it is also the skills, abilities and state of health of those people. In 21st-century Europe, political goals should not be defined in terms of population size, but rather in terms of “human capital” available for producing the best possible quality of life for everyone" (para 6)
In light of the findings of the report, the Assembly called on Member States of the Council of Europe to "introduce policies to provide the best education and training opportunities to ensure the highest quality of “human capital” (14.2)
Additionally the Assembly called on its members to ensure better reconciliation of family and work, especially for young parents, reduce migrant unemployment and promote a more inclusive job market.
As the text was not amended, it is already available at:

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