Regional Policy Responses to Demographic Challenges and Opportunities
In Europe, the trend towards greater life expectancy, often in good health, is primarily due to the unprecedented peace we have known for 60 years, the constant improvement in living conditions and the progress in medicine enabling us to live longer. This success partly explains the demographic perspective facing Europe of an ageing population with rising old age dependency ratios. Initially, discussion around this ageing trend concentrated on the sustainability of social security, pensions and health policies. However, it is increasingly recognized that an ageing population will require the adaptation of practically all major public policies, including education, employment and social affairs, transport, public services and infrastructures and urban planning, to address ageing and exploit the opportunities it presents.