cities&refugees_D6Europe is facing a demographic crisis. Nine of the 10 nations with the largest populations of over-60s and over-80s are in Europe.After decades of greying, Europe’s pension and healthcare systems are struggling to cope with the rise in the numbers of elderly and proportional decline of the working population.

A European Commission report last year suggested that by 2060, there will be just two workers for every person over 65 – half today’s figure. The old-age dependency ratio, which shows the number of people over 65, compared to those aged 15-64, will rise from today’s 28% to 50%.

In 1950, 8% of Europe’s population was 65 or over, by 1990 it was 12.7% and by 2015 17.6%, according a Pew Research Centre report. The U.N. suggests the figure could reach 30% by 2050. Six European countries – Italy, Greece, Germany, Portugal, Finland and Bulgaria – already have a fifth of their population aged 65 or older.

Given the strain on services a solution is needed. Can couples be persuaded to make more babies? Should we all be working into our old age and forgetting about long leisurely retirements? Or is more migration the answer? Over half of asylum seekers in Europe are aged between 18 and 34. Add in teenagers and children, and you have a migrant population of which 81% are under 34.

Curious to know more about the impact of immigration on Europe’s ageing population? We’ve put together some facts and figures in the infographic below (click for a bigger version).


Rather than shutting the doors to migrants, does Europe really need to think about a pro-active migration policy to attract young workers? How can that be done, given voter hostility to immigration?

We had a comment from Yorgos who pointed out that the dramatic drop in birth rates across most European countries has made retirement and social security plans unsustainable. We put his point to Sandra Rainero, Policy Advisor on Migration, Youth and Social Innovation at URBACT, a programme promoting cooperation among European cities. How would she respond to Yorgos’ suggestion that Europe needs immigrants in order to prosper?

sandra-raineroI agree, but not as the only solution: the low fertility rate in Europe is part of the demographic change affecting the whole continent. Migration will be only one of the factors influencing this trend, but possibly not the determining one in terms of ageing. Studies prove that although migrant families have more children, they quickly adapt to the hosting society also in terms of fertility rates. The sustainability of the welfare system is at stake and longer life expectancy requires a holistic and inclusive approach in different policy areas to ensure the well-being of people living in Europe, regardless of their origin, including robust family policy and ways to attract, educate to EU values and leverage immigrants’ skills.

For another view, we also put Yorgos’ point to Giuseppe Gesano, Associate Researcher at the CNR-IRPPS, Institute of Research on Population and Social Policies – National Council of Research, in Italy.

Foto Gesano (1)Fundamentally, I agree with Yorgos. However, immigrants can aid the equilibrium of social security systems (SSS) more in the short- and medium-run than in the long run, when they will also retire. If the SSS is fair, pensions should be paid also to them (actually, it depends on retirement rules and, somewhat, on their permanence in the immigration country). In the case of too few new working immigrants, the SSS would be over-charged consequently. Another condition is necessary for immigrants to sustain the SSS: they must stay and work regularly, and pay pension contributions. At present in Italy there are 2 million foreign workers paying SSS contributions against 40 thousand immigrants receiving old-age pensions.

We also had a comment from Rudi, in Croatia, who argued that European governments are not putting in place the right polices to promote the development of younger populations and to put young people into work. How does Giuseppe Gesano respond?

Foto Gesano (1)Rudi is right in pointing out that we are not ready to deal with population ageing. Our social security systems were conceived in times of labour-force abundance against few retirees. Our health systems are directed more to cure than to prevent illnesses. Because of ‘inertia’ and (probably) for electoral reasons governments’ attention goes more to the elderly than to young people. However, dealing with these problems is not only a government task. Changes in our mentality must follow on the lengthening of life and mass ageing: e.g., working till older ages and caring for our and others’ health and wellbeing.

With a different point of view, Catherine, in the UK, disputed the figures and argued that the mass immigration of older people was causing Europe’s aging population. Immigration is therefore the problem, not the cure, she said. We asked Sandra Rainero for a response:

sandra-raineroLook at the facts and statistics – it is not too difficult – data shows that migration to Europe is very young (with some exception for the Syrian refugee crisis, where also older people flee with their family). In fact, there are scores of minors, often unaccompanied, going to Europe either to reunite with other family members or searching for a better life. The opposite is also true, there is an increasing mobility of elderly people to lower-income countries because the quality vs. cost of life is better there and they can live their retirement life more comfortably.

How can Europe cope with its aging population? Should immigration be seen as an opportunity rather than a burden? Can Europeans be persuaded to work into their 70s? Or would they prefer to invite in younger workers from overseas? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDIT: CC / Flickr – Enidanc
The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsi­ble for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

112 comments Post a commentcomment

  1. avatar
    Любомир Иванчев

    No! The people who are coming to Europe are not European population! It’s like asking if you can add beer to your half empty glass of wine and still call it wine after that! The migrants are changing irreversibly the demographic structure of Europe. These are different people with different culture. It’s not just the numbers that matter!

    • avatar
      Imanuel d'Anjou

      you just use nazi reasoning but the word race is replaced with culture to make it politically correct. gross

    • avatar
      Nicolò Perini

      So i imagine you like bbcs imanuel?

    • avatar
      Davide Gobbicchi

      Imanuel d’Anjou he is right tho…there is npthin wrong with what he said.
      They don’t have our culture,the more we take them and the more our culture will disappear

    • avatar
      Zeruf Isonfire

      Davide Gobbicchi your culture disappeared already and was replaced by new culture and it is constantly going on this evolution, or do you even have the same culture as your parents? The only cultures that stay the same for hundreds of years are primitive ones. What makes western culture western is that it is dynamic. Make sure that the immigrants adapt to it and bring it back with them to their home countries and spread this way of thinking all over the world and you have yourself a more evolved, modern, critically thinking human world freed from barbarism.

    • avatar
      florence baudin

      Absolutely right !

    • avatar
      Antonio Usai

      You’re implying that Eastern europe folks are better than african or middle eastern ones.

    • avatar
      Boyko Vesselinov

      There is a war there and 2 milllion displaced. Are you implying they are worse?

    • avatar
      Wendy Harris

      What good does migration do for the Ukraine or any other country? Those who migrate prosper but those who stay are no better off. It’s time that people from poorer countries asked themselves why their country is still poor in the 21st century and did something to change their governance.

    • avatar
      Boyko Vesselinov

      Wendy Harris I agree to the extent that EU has to solve problem internally by having measures that would lead to increased birth rate. If that fails, immigrants should be let in only by a point system similar to Canada and Australia, i.e. selectively. Currently we have a situation, where a study by RTBF and Soir in Belgium found out that 1/3 of immigrants prefer to have Sharia law in Europe. Acceptable? No!

    • avatar
      Любомир Иванчев

      Ukrainians are Europeans, they have christian cultural traditions like the majority of the EU people, so therefore they can integrate a lot easier in the EU family than muslims. We should be debating what’s good for Europe, after all…

  2. avatar
    Wendy Harris

    The time bomb is an absolute fallacy. We do not need immigration, we need policies that encourage women to have more children. Better maternity pay, longer leave, tax allowances etc. One or two “baby boom” years would address the problem long before we got to 2060.

    • avatar
      Antonio Usai

      We’re too many, as for needs, machines will provide job sostitution. A slow depopulation will heal the European continent.

    • avatar
      Wendy Harris

      Yes, that is another alternative.

    • avatar
      Pirvulescu Florin

      Antonio Usai
      No, we are not too many.
      Europe, besides North America, is one of the most fertile places of Earth.

      There is overpopulation on Earth but that is not because of Europe, but because of Africa and much of Asia who are overpopulated.

      EU, itself, could triple it`s population and still be fine.

    • avatar
      Madis Järvekülg

      Then we need left-wing. Highest birth rate countries in EU:
      Iceland 1.9, Sweden 1.9, Norway 1.9, Finland 1.8 and Denmark 1.7
      CONSERVATIVE COUNTRIES: Switzerland 1.5, Poland 1.3, Germany 1.3, Hungary 1.3, Portugal 1.2, Spain 1.3, Slovak Republic 1.4

    • avatar
      Wendy Harris

      If we are going to terraform Mars then surely we can make more fertile places here on Earth? Crowding everyone into Europe is not the answer.

    • avatar
      Sandra Wright

      Totally agree pay women a wage to stay home and bring up children or make child care affordable. In Spain it costs a 100 euros a month for a nursery place and if they are working they get that refunded. They also dont pay tax till the cost of their morgage is taken out. This would encourage larger families.

    • avatar
      Zeruf Isonfire

      You need both in some countries (baby boom and immigration) because raising children to become productive adults takes time and money in an already cash-strapped economy. Immigrants can hold you over in the mean time because they come as productive adults and when most of them are old, they return to their home country which is a net profit for society. The social cost of an immigrant (I’m not talking about refugees) is less than 10% of a citizen who lives their entire life in the country. Of course some immigrants will marry and have kids, but most cannot afford to and prefer to have their families back home and send money to them. It all depends on how smart your immigration system is. If you encourage a guest worker system, international trade and cooperation and conflict resolution then you will have legal and mutually profitable migration as opposed to refugees and human trafficking.

    • avatar
      Wendy Harris

      Only 7% of migrants intend to return home to retire and who can blame them if they’ve paid into the system?
      The argument that countries need mass immigration is a false one. Cheap labour only makes the rich richer by using immigrants as modern day slaves. To my mind, this is a disgusting period in Europe’s history to be using human beings as commodities in order to avoid raising the standard of living for those at the bottom.

    • avatar

      That the problem , there are solutions but politicians are really incompetent and increasingly badly educated .

  3. avatar
    Aleksandar Greguric

    So we can all die out, as long as there is any work force who cares about domestic people and their culture? :/

  4. avatar
    Andrew Potts

    Recently the IMF insisted a child support program was dropped in the Ukraine. It had helped to stop a disastrous fall in the birth rate. Now why would they do that?
    Most Europeans would like to work, live, get married and have kids in the communities they grew up in. A very modest ambition so why then does the European Union not support them.

    • avatar
      Antonios Forlidas

      Because the nazist, fascist regime of Kiev , should be democratic and fulfill the European Fundamental principles. In Ukraine they should forget their past with their collaboration with the nazis Axis and look for new horizons.

  5. avatar
    Christos Mouzeviris

    Yes but it will cause another problem. The rise and further establishment of the Far Right. And we all know what that means. So why don’t we change our policies and encourage young people to fly the nest earlier, creating their own homes and families, and help them to have more children, instead of investing more money to the arms industries, saving the banks etc….

    • avatar
      Любомир Иванчев

      The Far Right is on the rise exactly because of the current inadequate policies. People are becoming polarized because they see the current EU and national governments not giving a damn about the separate EU nation states and their cultures. They only care about acquiring cheap workforce at all costs and from anywhere.

    • avatar
      Christos Mouzeviris

      Sad but true…. But we will pay the price one way or another…

    • avatar
      Christos Mouzeviris

      Sad but true…. But we will pay the price one way or another…

  6. avatar
    Dóris Cavalcanti

    This is a BS! There is a huge unemployment of young people in Europe. Besides, the kind of low level 3rd. world immigrants is just to cause problems and increase expenses to european workers-tax payers.
    All those fortunes wasted to support 3rd. world immigrants should be given to european women to have children since europeans reduced their number of children because life costs became away too high forcing them to work much more to survive exactly because they have to pay very high taxes to support useless 3rd. world immigrants with their 10 children. STOP LYING AND CHEATING EUROPEANS!!!

  7. avatar
    Dóris Cavalcanti


    37% of the 25–54-year-old non-EU-born population has completed at most lower secondary education

    Beginning with the indicator ‘educational attainment level’, defined as the highest level of education completed successfully [2], the analysis focuses on the population aged 25–54 [3] by country of birth [4] in the EU-28 Member States. As can be observed in Figure 1, in 2014 the highest proportion of people having completed at most lower secondary education [5] was found among the non-EU-born population (35.6 %). This share was 16.0 percentage points (pp) higher than for the native-born and 13.2 pp higher than the EU-born (except the reporting country) population.

    The proportions were reversed for educational attainment at the level of upper secondary and post-secondary education, at 36.4 % for the foreign-born population, 12 pp lower than for the native-born population.

    At the level of tertiary education, the population born in another EU Member State recorded the highest share of such graduates (35.7 %). This proportion was 3.7 pp higher than for the native-born population and 5.1 pp higher than for the non-EU-born population.

  8. avatar
    Dóris Cavalcanti


    In 2014, the unemployment rate of non-EU citizens was 19.9 %. This group experienced the largest increase in unemployment over the 2008–13 period (Figure 4) and also the largest decrease (–1.9 pp) from 2013 to 2014. The unemployment rate of non-EU citizens was 11.1 pp higher than that of the nationals in 2011, a difference that increased until 2013 but was reduced to 10.7 pp in 2014.

    Youth unemployment
    Youth unemployment for the non-EU-born population aged 15–29 has increased by 12.6 pp between 2007 and 2014.

    The young population has been significantly affected by unemployment over the last eight years (11.9 % in 2007 compared with 17.1 % in 2014 for the native-born population), with the non-EU-born young population showing the largest increase in unemployment (15.4 % in 2007 compared with 28.0 % in 2014)

    Long-term unemployment
    Long-term unemployment, as a percentage of total unemployment, has increased for the non-EU-born population from 28.7 % in 2009 to 52.0 % in 2014, after a period of decrease from 2007 to 2009.

  9. avatar
    Dóris Cavalcanti

    The 2015 Ageing Report

    This Ageing report is very interesting, BUT you must be careful with their tricks to distort data to fit into their agenda to justify their irresponsible migration policy with the ageing population excuse.

    They try to convince that the problem is the number of elderlies increasing without saying that workers/taxpayers will have to support the children(0-14 y.o.) + the elderlies(+65%) + 25% UNEMPLOYED(20/64 y.o.).

    – F.ex., first they show a table with 6,6% of unemployment in 2060, and later they show other table(and text) with +-75% of employment to the same group of age(20/64 y.o.).

    Other good report: Migration integration statistics – at risk of poverty and social exclusion

  10. avatar
    Ainhoa Lizar

    Help and promote european families instead of financing the muslim terrorist invasion. But obviously that is not the “elite´s” interest.

    • avatar

      The elite , as are current political parties and politicians are on their way out across the world , there is more and more opposition , and if these people resist there will be massive unrest or even wars , and they will be illuminated

  11. avatar
    Bobi Dochev

    What time bomb idiots?! The technologies replace the human workers. What else do you need?! As George said above Islamic fundamentalism?! Why the hell change a potential problem with bigger one?!!! Its a crime against European citizens!!!

    • avatar
      Viola Stokłosa

      well, theres a theory that say: there follows a wave of newborn after a war or deep economical crisis. possibly thats what is this story about :-(

    • avatar
      Bobi Dochev

      Yeah, but times are changed. In fact in Europe and basically developed countries, born rate drop each year. But instead of import migrants with hope that some day they will be integrated (and we can clearly see that there are 2nd or even 3rd generations in EU that still are not integrated and certain religious groups live in their traditions and even more they try to dominate over the other) we just can have politics to support young couples.
      I’m sorry to say it but some people still live like herd of cattle, and this understandings don’t have place in Europe.
      If we combine the the development of the technologies with measures to support giving of birth and manage to cut the public expenses for administration, which are really ridiculous in EU we can skip the import of migrants, which cant fulfil the free job position because they dont have the skills any way.
      What EU does is COMPLETELY INSANE!!! It is just a suicide!

  12. avatar
    Robert Santa

    Depends on who the immigrants are, how close they are culturally to other Europeans and how qualified to engage with the labour market.

  13. avatar
    Dimitris Orfanoudis

    Frederica sounds to be very tender-hearted and magnanimous every time addressed to an audience about immigrants.. Instead to find out ways to support the european young people to have a job to save enough and be able to marry and have a familysupports the idea of a multicultural Europe .. Europeans are able to make babies and is not necessary to bring everyone in Europe in order to increase the european population….. You better there in Brussels to leave apart your maganimous ideas and try to really care about uropeans….

  14. avatar
    Jeanne Griffin

    Why not create more jobs so our kids can start families rather than.import a new demographic ?

    • avatar
      Tina Lythe

      Oh yes more kids for tax payers to pay for

  15. avatar
    Franck Néo Legon

    There are already too much people in Europe. We should be fewer in the future, all of us having house and land and job, and enough income to raise at list 3 kids for each family without difficulty, giving them the best possible education and life . What you aim with your “demographic problem” is only quick and short view capitalistic income through business mass growth wich is killing everything in the world, ressources, life, and making humans a product, a utility for the hive. The right way for the future is less human beings, richer and more powerfull, sustainability for the Earth and wealth for everyone. This is how things are meant to be, this is why demographic decrease naturaly happens in wealthy countries, don’t fight it by artificialy keeping on the early stages’ population growth through imigration for a few’s greed, you gonna break the world balance and have mankind eurased by biosphere imune system, this all for a fistfull more useless banknotes.

  16. avatar
    Dariusz Bernad

    Immigration is not the answer for decreasing population(black death plague in Europe that coused sudden decrease of millions of people and we got through it without massive immigration). We should know that already from past experiences but i guess BANKS need more clients to get credits, so HERE WE ARE.

    • avatar
      Viola Stokłosa

      and that’s gonna be the “risky” credits if fallowing your idea :-(

    • avatar
      Ruairí Hallissey

      Population decrease doesn’t affect GDP per capita. Its only the politicians and bankers who want more tax payers and debt slaves.

  17. avatar
    James Robinson

    Increasing immigration just increases the population (which is increasing anyway) just making more old people. Or are you suggesting migrants will die at 50? Ignoramous cultural Marxism, why this is even peddled as a solution is pure idiocy.

  18. avatar
    Craig Willy

    Speaking strictly economically, immigration could contribute to European pensions *if* the migrants are skilled or cognitively gifted. However, the overwhelming majority of Third-World immigrants, especially from the Middle East and Africa, are *unskilled*. If anything, current Third-World immigration to Europe will like have the same consequences as previous Third-World immigration to Europe: the creation of growing non-integrated communities of people who, on average, contribute less in taxes, consume more in welfare, and commit more crimes than the average native (or European immigrants, for that matter). The idea that this immigration is economically beneficial or will benefit an aging Europe of pensioners is either madness or a scam.

    Skilled immigration, largely from Europe and certain parts of Asia, is another matter, and may be economically beneficial.

    But all this overlooks the most important factor: the need to preserve the culture, identity, and cohesion of European nations. This is paramount and, in my view, overrides economic concerns.

  19. avatar
    Andreas Hämäläinen

    Constant population growth is unsustainable. It doesn’t matter if it endogenous or exogenous. We need to find out other ways of dealing with higher age than dumping the burden on the younger generations. In the long term we will actually need to lower the global population since it is unsustainable to have 7 or 10 billion homo sapiens with a modern lifestyle. Otherwise the ecosystems will collapse onto themselves.

    • avatar
      Tina Lythe

      No its not it is and always has been multi faith

  20. avatar
    Antonios Forlidas

    Europe should stop participating with the stupid americans in military actions against the countries where the refugees come from. We destabilized the whole region and now Europe is paying the price , with terrorism and uncontrollable refugees and migrants influx.

  21. avatar
    catherine benning

    Governments have lied for decades over the amount of immigrants coming into Europe and the UK. Only yesterday did the real figures begin to out. Telling us in the UK, we have had 600,000 a year and not 300,000 a year as previously spread. And the situation here is now dire.

    Over the holiday period I had to be in a central London hospital every day for four weeks. It was chaos. The medical people worked like mad trying to save lives in real danger. They performed miracles and they had the patience of saints. Most of the inpatients were immigrants from both inside and outside of Europe. Mainly from outside, although about 55/45.

    As you went down the job scales it got worse and worse.

    Top consultants and their teams, amazing but under enormous stress. The nurses went from massively obese, lazy, ethnic immigrants out of their depth. Rude, off hand, spoke to the elderly patients like they were pigs. The European immigrant nurses and the English, from places like Italy, Germany, the Eastern block, were more prepared for the job and in the main, slim, able to move about to be helpful and get the awful tasks done. Polite and exhausted. But only two nurses for 24 patients day and night made the work hard and non stop. The unqualified section were too lazy to even bend down and pick up the soiled gauzes they dropped. Bed pans left full on the ward for hours on end, even through meal and visiting times. Full of the stinking mass they pretended not to see.

    Cleaning was non existent. The toilets made you vomit as you walked past and the sinks and showers were either blocked and didn’t flush or were broken, only four for a people of 24. A machine that looked like a ride on mower came through twice a week to brush the floor but left all the dropped bandages flicked from one corner to another. Once a week a long thin, not rinsed mop was used down the centre of the ward but not under the beds or in any corners. All manned by immigrants mostly from outside the EU. Surly, snarling insults, as they passed. It was unbearable. And the British MP running this show says the Red Cross is exaggerating. If anything it is under estimating the reality. It resembled a war zone.

    You ask can immigration defuse Europe’s demographic time bomb? Unless we start shipping all the migrants who have entered the UK in the last 30 years, the entire culture, social structure and life expectation will be nothing more than the third world countries we have been invaded by. It has been a deliberate act of racial and cultural hatred toward a European society to have set such an anomaly in a Western population in the first place. A racial hatred toward the indigenous population not seen by any previous invader to our shores. And it was carried out by those in our Parliament with the full knowledge of what they were doing. Whilst lying to the population right up to to this very day. Tony Blair told his closest he was going to rub the ‘Right’s’ noses in it. The shit he meant. The shit he was about to pile high for his fellow countrymen. And he made it hell for the left he vowed to assist.

    The news yesterday told us that by 2030 our population swell of immigrants will have exploded to a rise to a 77 million population from the current estimate of 65 million. Higher than any country in the world. And most of them from outside of Europe. All needy, all wanting free health service, education, housing and last of all wanting employment. None of which we have for our own population let alone those who have no desire to be part of our cultural expectations.

    It is time our country brought back the crime of treason, punishable by capital recourse, so at least some accountability can be seen to be had. That and mass deportation.

    Then back to the hospital food. Those who took the orders and served it, unable to speak English clearly with accents so thick it was ridiculous to try and follow what they said. Cleanliness frequently ignored. And the meals given as bad as prison offerings. They made you ill even contemplating putting it in the mouth.

    And the biggest of all jokes is, all these immigrants were taking care of and nursing their own. The ration in each section of the wards was four immigrants to two British. And sometimes, not one British in a bed. The side wards taken up with ethnic, newly arrived, in the contagious or incurable section. Most of them with umpteen visitors trailing their flu and colds with them.

    The ward I visited had people from Ukraine, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Congo, Ireland and British London. They were six to a room but the entire ward was 24, plus four side wards with single people.

    Small surgery of, for example, tubes to lungs for fluid release, etc., were carried out on the wards. Some without local anaesthetic.

    It was a disaster of tremendous proportions. And very frightening. Armageddon.

  22. avatar
    Zamb On

    What demographic time bomb in Hell? You mean the fact that our generation cannot lay on debts as the former?

  23. avatar
    László Bögözy Jánossy

    Population of Sweeden have been 780.000 persons 500 years ago. All elders was take care by their families. Today Sweeden have citizens over 9.000.000 millions, without illegal migrants. The social liberal government are make alarm, We have population crisis, and we need to import more and more migrants. If somebody is understand their fals logic, please be so kind inform me

    • avatar
      Sebastian Wójcik

      That is because of current form of capitalism. We need more and more people so we would have more and more consumers and higher demand for things we do so more money. Yet Europeans tend to focus more about consumption of goods than about making kids. So no more european consumers are going to come

  24. avatar
    Sylvain Duret

    If we can make soldiers of them, they could defend the EU against russians and chineses :D !!! Fight and die for Europe !

    • avatar
      Ainhoa Lizar

      The russians are mainly white europeans… dumb ass

  25. avatar

    I love to look straight in the sun when I say hello to this big star. So straight to you, I say hello my friend.

    Can you solve a problem with a problem? Can you diffuse a bomb with a bomb? Yes possibly you might be able to do it. Personally I do not like both problems or bombs. Honestly I try to avoid as much I can. The big truth the building of the western world is in trouble, big trouble maybe bigger of what we would like to admit.

    I have nothing against any immigrant. I just argue that its more ethical for authorities to provide first food and happiness to their own people. Finally, if countries are strong enough help people in trouble where they actually live. Let troubled nations stand on their own feet, better their life where they are if possible.

    Frankly, just finding little bit unethical to pretend you care for people locking them in a cage like animals giving them a plate of food like a prisoner. While having them dreaming of the free beautiful west meanwhile freezing in minus 20 C in a tent. Its not imaginary hardships.

    Hypocrites care? While really very very thirsty for the benefits. Cheap labor maybe? Or people willing to do job our own citizens refuse to do? Immigrants are usually very quiet, disciple, cheap labor force at the bottom of the pyramid to support taxation, social security, pentions, or our industry to be competitive worldwide?

    What led to the collapse of the Soviet Union? Byzantium? Rome? Austohungarian empire? Ottoman empire? British empire? Yugoslavia?

    Were many and included ethnic conflict, a lack of support for the idea of union and economic troubles. Despite reform efforts, the then leaders of the empires, unions, kingdoms, states were never able to reorganize and rebuild.

    Historically, when nations fall, they fall quickly and absolutely. The trends leading up to their fall may take many years to develop, but the fall itself happens quickly.

    Today is our turn. Here we stand watching the roof on fire coming straight on our heads.

    I just have one question. How can I help you? Your plan boss.

  26. avatar
    EU reform- proactive

    No. EU specialists & advisors should rather consider & explain to us:

    Why do budding, visionary, risk taking and high tech entrepreneurs from Europe & elsewhere rather flock (immigrate) to the US- and not visa versa, Africa or the Muslim East?

    Why is a pension obsessed grumpy old Juncker EU attracting mainly “benefit seeking emigrants” from Africa & the Muslim East?

    Why do EU politician think that by effecting one incremental (political & military) EU ANSCHLUSS after another one will produce a successful copy of a United States or even better? Social values? It is EU native citizens who will have to integrate into the mass & mixture of others- mainly Muslims emigrants.

    Looking back at a previous (inappropriate)) quoted example & link to an immigrant who was 17 years of age (from SA to Canada & US)- “Mr. ELON MUSK” – as prove how good immigration for the EU is- check his attitude:

    * He describes himself as “nauseatingly pro-American” (would in the EU be a disgraced, condemned & notorious populist & nationalist idiot).

    * Calling the US the greatest country that has ever existed on Earth. (EU is no country- a “concept” only)

    * Besides overcoming all odds- after nailing SpaceX & more- he’s biggest idea yet is still to come:

    Bring efficient, standardized, supersonic, trans and intercontinental mass transit to people of all economic background, within a decade (or two?), that will make trains and airplanes obsolete, overnight! And many other things as well- guess?

    And the EU politicians are obsessed with age, spreading fear & panic and think to control events for the next ~50 years? No wonder, it will be no wonder!

  27. avatar
    Marion Soncourt

    “by 2060, there will be just two workers for every person over 65 “, that sounds normal to me. We don’t want an increasing population any longer.

    08/27/2018 Luis Matias, Mayor of Penela, Portugal, has responded to this comment.

    08/27/2018 Goncalo Saraiva Matias, Director of Research at the Fundacao Francisco Manuel dos Santos, has responded to this comment.

  28. avatar
    Nelson Vaz

    Improve the economies….more people will be working, paying into the system and afford to have children……And the youth won’t need to immigrate. Reduce the number of politicians doing jack!

  29. avatar
    Paola Raineri

    Europe, as we allowed them to develop it, is such a poor failure
    And Italy, more than any other country, should know
    There’s nothing such as Italy (we’re all soooo different and hardly coping with one another), the way there’s nothing such as Europe, apart from obscure financial deals

  30. avatar
    Pavel Lampa

    IF we have scenario of falling population to half (740m to 370m) with no immigration we will be Europeans in next 1000y. If we have scenarion of mass imigration to offset the decline in fertility rates (feed the system) we will lose it. There will be half of “other” population that can easily choose to eliminate European population after winning ‘civil wars’. PL.

  31. avatar
    Maia Alexandrova

    Uncontrolled mass immigration of young Muslims is your answer, if you want Sharia law to become official in Europe in 10 or 20 years’ time and burka to be compulsory for women. Muslims are exploiting the naivety of Western Europeans. They are only waiting to become a majority and then will swiftly and democratically vote to impose on us all Islamic dogmas and oppressive rules they have, against our wishes. Is that what you want?

    In 2015 it was sad to watch Germans and Austrians clapping to the arriving asylum seekers at the station. I was thinking: “Now you are clapping, but later you will be crying!” This is exactly what happened. If you need bees for honey, then find them, look after them well and they will give you honey for many years to come. Don’t bring in wasps, hornets or killer bees! How stupid does one need to be to do such a thing?

    • avatar

      What you said can be classified as “genial”. 70% of Europeans are functional illiterate and cannot focus on a text longer than 5 lines. Your post is too long for them and will go unnoticed. Anyway they are not intelligent enough even to understand it.

  32. avatar

    DebatingEU should alter the name of their website to “Tryingtopromoteimmigration”. This is the latest in a string of debates where you seem to be trying to persuade people who are against immigration into accepting immigration. . . . . . .

  33. avatar
    Julia Hadjikyriacou

    Firstly, people would probably have more children if they could afford them and have time to stay home with them instead of depriving mothers and children from eachother. Secondly if you ever talked to people aged 55 and over most of them are physically and mentally tired and ready to retire. Not work to their 70’s when they are near death. A guaranteed minimum income for all people would take care of both these problems. People could afford children. Mothers/fathers could stay home with their children as long as they wanted, freeing up jobs. People would retire early freeing up jobs. More spending money would boost the economy creating jobs and entrepreneurs. People with jobs and mortgages will have more money to spend. Add free education and tax the mega rich and multinational corporations and create a more social EU. The mega-rich will still have billions left, even after tax.

  34. avatar
    Paul X

    Uncontrolled immigration – No

    Immigration of skilled and educated workers who are qualified for jobs that pay above the income tax and national insurance threshold and who will be contributing to the Social Security budget and National Health Service – yes

    08/27/2018 Goncalo Saraiva Matias, Director of Research at the Fundacao Francisco Manuel dos Santos, has responded to this comment.

  35. avatar

    Re: so many of the comments: It’s sad to see Europe be so xenophobic and Islamophobic – just like the U.S. would like to become under Trump. Why, because of past colonialism and current wars causing a few terrorist attacks – which were much more common in the 70’s among Europeans themselves (Mafia, Red Brigade, IRA, etc), do people assume European culture can’t integrate Muslims, just like they integrated Jewish, Irish, African people. All the arguments against it reek of insecurity, weakness and white supremacy. The world is one – if your contributions to its culture are wonderful, they will be kept, if not, they will be discouraged and abandoned. Migration will never stop, never has stopped in the whole history of the world. Positive adaptation, people.

  36. avatar
    Siva Nesan Jesu

    Everything demography related-immigration, explosion or convulsions or contorsions; has much to do with Islam; Which is insanity of Man or Allah!

  37. avatar
    Moni Ka

    nope, They can only help keep alive incapable of independence as long as they have the money for it

  38. avatar
    Pája Švec

    Or maybe, instead of importing uneducated mass of poor people without any use in economy, we could motivate Europeans to have kids?

    • avatar
      Marcin Szczerbaciuk

      by for example lowering taxes so its finacially possible for them, people naturaly want to have kids, also kill feminism that would help.

    • avatar
      Giulio Del Fiandra

      if our salary is enough and families have help in servicies like primary schools people would have kids, but our society put women in the position to do a choice. family or job

  39. avatar
    Pája Švec

    Or maybe, instead of importing uneducated mass of poor people without any use in economy, we could motivate Europeans to have kids?

    • avatar
      Marcin Szczerbaciuk

      by for example lowering taxes so its finacially possible for them, people naturaly want to have kids, also kill feminism that would help.

    • avatar
      Giulio Del Fiandra

      if our salary is enough and families have help in servicies like primary schools people would have kids, but our society put women in the position to do a choice. family or job

  40. avatar
    Luca D'Elia

    welfare, asili nido, diritti alle donne in gravidanza sul lavoro, incentivi. Ma questo dovrebbero pagarlo le classi domandanti…

  41. avatar
    Ruairí Hallissey

    Demographic contraction does not effect GDP per capita. This is simply pretense for further immigration and solution no one wants.

    • avatar

      The problem is not an ageing population it is overpopulation , seeing the actual resources in Europe and its modification because of climate change . Most immigrants are not as healthy or long living as Europeans , and will strain the health systems more .

  42. avatar

    We need less people not more . We must devise policies that do rely on ever increasing populations. Retirement and pensions will be for the wealthy the rest of us will just have to carry on working till we drop ,either that or higher taxes for social care .
    More people though is not the anwer

  43. avatar

    Sadly not. The demographic problems is due to lack of welfare for families. As long as there is no support for young families or there is lack of income, European families will not have many children (if any) because they cannot afford them, time-wise or financially. To solve this problem you have to fix its root – you have to create support systems for young families. Bringing immigrants will only postpone the issue by a couple of years, but it will not make people more prone to giving birth or raising kids, leading to a repeating system of bringing in immigrants and leading us to a decaying future, since it will increase pension needs but not rise births or young energy.

  44. avatar

    EU countries have become unsustainable , especially when looking at food and water resources and the results of climate change . The problem of an ageing population is a false one , as most jobs in the EU will be automated in the future and there will only be jobs for skilled workers , and most migrants of today will be unemployable .
    Countries across the world will have to recognise the there is a limit to sustainable populations and introduce restrictions . It is clear today that borders are closing not just to migrants but to asylum seekers as Muslim countries refuse to help other muslims , and Islam is incapable of stopping the muslim against muslim conflicts across the world .

    19/09/2017 David Sinclair, Director of the International Longevity Centre – UK, has responded to this comment.

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