Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-02-20-Speech-3-442"

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"Mr President, according to demographic predictions, in 2050 the average age in Europe will have risen from 39 (as it was in 2004) to 49, which will have an impact on the population structure and the age pyramid. This will cause, among other things, a fall in the number of young people, a diminution in the working-age population and a rise in the average life span. These changes are giving rise to an increase in the cost borne by society in connection with maintenance of the occupationally passive population. They will also enhance regional differences, which are characterised by an outflow of young people, thus enhancing society’s ageing process, or a positive migration balance which retards this process. Immigration, however, is only a short-term and partial solution, so Member States should take steps towards respect for gender equality, social and financial support for families and protection of motherhood. Only societies for whom children are a policy priority and who promote a pro-family environment will be in a position to contend with unfavourable demographic changes. I want to emphasise that an increase in the average life span is something positive, so preventive measures must be taken to combat poverty among pensioners and to enable them to live out their last years with dignity. Member States should petition for the creation of affordable care structures for people who cannot manage on their own and for children. Member States should also draw attention to the problem of infertility, as it has an enormous impact on a process that is amplifying the growth of demographic imbalance, and to cooperation in overcoming difficulties."@en1

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