EUROPEAN PAPERS ON THE NEW WELFARE

Active Ageing: a core policy priority for the European Union

Abstract
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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