EUROPEAN PAPERS ON THE NEW WELFARE

Active Ageing: the EU Policy Response to the Challenge of Population Ageing

Abstract

This paper considers the active ageing strategy as the EU policy response to the challenges posed by population and work force ageing. Active ageing is a new supranational policy design started in 1999 that seeks to achieve greater correspondence between and, possibly, harmonization of the member states public policies towards older workers at EU level. In the framework of this new policy design, the EU has set itself two important targets to be met by 2010: first to increase the employment rate of older workers to 50% (Stockholm target-2001) and second, to delay by five years the age at which older workers stop working (Barcelona target-2002). So far the progress towards meeting the Stockholm and Barcelona targets is mixed and without determination both at EU level and especially by the Member States these objectives will be out of reach by 2010. The modest result produced so far by these policies reveal the weakness of the current policy approach at national and EU level.
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