EUROPE’S DEMOGRAPHIC TIME BOMB

To find out what is being done to combat Europe’s ageing population problem Insiders spoke to Monika Queisser, Head of Social Policy with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Sophie Claudet: Could you tell us what can be done basically to address this ageing Europe? We’ve seen that Germany has taken in more migrants, we see that many people are thinking of lengthening working life. What kind of measures can be taken?

Monika Queisser: The solution to the ageing challenge in Europe will lie in a mix of different measures. What we need first of all is for people to work longer. In many countries people are still leaving the labour market at quite early ages and, as they are living longer and healthier lives, they will have to work longer in order to pay for the pensions. That is one the solutions to the problem.

Other solutions are to mobilise all the available talent that today is not fully utilised in Europe’s labour markets. One of the important areas here is more gender equality in the labour markets. We have many women in many countries not working full-time, working only part-time because they have no possibility to get childcare or because not enough jobs are offered for them on a full-time basis. So, mobilising female talent in the labour market is another important answer to the ageing challenge.

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