Archive for May, 2005

Active Ageing: a core policy priority for the European Union

In view of the ongoing ageing and coming shrinking of their working-age population, the Member States of the European Union have agreed bold goals for increasing the employment rate and the exit age of older workers. Progress so far has been modest and with enlargement the challenge has become bigger. EU policies however lend constructive support and Member States are stepping up their efforts to institute better regimes of age management. As policy measures begin to kick in they are likely to be helped by an upward shift in the skill level of older workers and growing labour scarcity. Though it may be difficult to fully meet the targets of a 50% employment rate and a 5-year delay in the exit age by 2010, the relative role of older workers in the European workforce is likely to be substantially strengthened over the next 5-10 years.
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Jobs-led development incorporating svecchiamento as an asset?

1. Demographic transition

Barely 20 years ago the world was confronted with a population explosion. Now we witness a more complex phenomenon: while in some countries population is exponentially increasing resulting in an age distribution where the majority are younger than 25, in most of the developed countries the fertility rate has dropped to about 1.5 (considerably lower than the replacement level of 2.1) and the life expectancy has increased resulting in the number of persons older than 60 becoming greater than the number of those under 25.
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Extending life: disease pattern shift

The ageing of the world population points up many problems and new aspects. At economical level, extending life is connected with evident social and economic problems. Life after retirement can be extended by many decades and while some necessities more connected with the life of younger adults decrease in the older age groups, others rapidly increase. Read More

Longevity: a Right to Be Achieved

1. Introduction

The questions of how man is born, grows and dies, are the most fascinating mysteries not only for philosophy but for all human science and above all for medicine which seeks to respond to man’s yearning to escape the natural determinist cycle, to independently determine his own health and his own survival.
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The demographic Situation now and in the Next 10 to 20 Years

by Raimondo Cagiano de Azevedo
University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’

Vincenzo Marigliano says that we have cultural barriers to the accepting of some evidences from the medical or the statistical point of view. I would like to do the same exercise with you: to read the same data with the current cultural barriers and without them.
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Building the European Welfare Policy

1. The welfare state in 20 years — an attempted look into the future

by Jaroslaw Pietras Ph.D.
Minister for European Affairs, Poland

In today’s debate on a need for socio-economic transformations in Europe, one can frequently encounter an opinion that the welfare state, as we know it from the 20th century, sinks into oblivion. Ageing of the societies, high unemployment rate, low social activity and inefficiency of taxation and insurance systems preclude maintenance of high levels of social transfers. Without a radical reform of the foundations of the European social model, many of the European states can be threatened by bankruptcy. One can certainly ask a question — what shall come in exchange? Are we in time perspective of the coming 20 years to see a return of the late 19th century social model, where the assistance to the poor was founded on a charity and persons who — for various reasons — were unable to compete against others could solely count on support from their families? If it were so to happen, this would signify a return to a system that faced criticism not only from the most eminent philosophers or ethicists but also a vast majority of economists.
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Strategies for the welfare society in the larger Europe: the insurance perspective

The future welfare scenario in the European Union is taking place after the European Union’s recent enlargement to 10 new member states. It is a welcome debate, which deals with welfare issues in the context of labour and medical research.
This event enhances the historical role of Trieste as a reference point for finance and insurance in what is known as Mitteleuropa.
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The Challenge of Increasing Life Spans for Employment and Pension Schemes: An Open Letter to All Those Who Are, or Will Be, 65

Dear Madam, Dear Sir,
May I draw to your attention an issue that is constantly being talked about in the press, is on the lips of almost every politician and economist, something that you have probably had occasion to discuss even with your next-door neighbour: namely, that population ageing in industrialized countries, and in the long run in all other countries as well, is one of the major problems of our time.
Not true, I am afraid. Believing this is akin to attempting to drive a car with your eyes glued to the rear-view mirror.
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Pension Economics and the Four Pillars: Success in a Never-Ending Challenge

1. Introduction

Pensions economics is a complex field to work in, not least because of the many dimensions it covers beyond the already complex economic questions, particularly in the social and political sphere. The question as to how best (whatever this might mean in the discussion in question — and there has been a lot of confusion in the past over the target definitions) set up, finance and organize old-age security has been with us in its modern form for about a century, since Bismarck’s landmark introduction of the German social security schemes at the end of the 19th century.
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‘Society is getting older’ — how often have we heard this statement! but it is mistaken. The lengthening of the life cycle, involving better physical and mental conditions in most cases, introduces us to a counter-ageing society, where the older generations are clearly ‘younger’ than they have been in the past (in Italian this is called the process of ‘svecchiamento’).
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