The European Union is facing a potential decrease of one million working-age population per year, according to EU Commissioner Ylva Johansson. This revelation has sparked discussions about the necessity of increasing legal migration to combat the demographic decline.
Estimates from Eurostat, the EU statistics agency, indicate that the percentage of the population 65 and older will increase from 21.1 percent in 2022 to 31.3 percent by the end of the century. Additionally, the 2022 EURES report on shortages and surpluses revealed that 29 European countries are experiencing labor shortages while 24 countries have surplus labor, particularly in professions such as software, healthcare, construction, and engineering craft.
Commissioner Johansson, along with EU Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas, held meetings with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and other officials in Athens. They highlighted the positive progress Greece has made in managing legal migration.
Despite concerns about migration contributing to the rise of far-right and anti-EU parties across Europe, Johansson argued that illegal migration was the cause of “poison and causing xenophobia and racism.”
Last month, European Parliament members and national governments reached an agreement to Reform Asylum & Migration Policy. Commissioner Johansson stated that this pact would enhance external border protection, increase solidarity, and provide better protection for asylum seekers.
As discussions about increasing legal migration continue, it is clear that the EU is facing critical demographic challenges that require thoughtful and strategic solutions. The future of the EU’s working-age population and migration policies will undoubtedly be a topic of ongoing debate.
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