Demographic ageing and vulnerability in the European Union: a brief analysis of the challenges and opportunities it poses
Keywords:Demographic ageing, life-cycle approach, ageism, intergenerational solidarity, vulnerability.
The pronounced ageing of the European population has multidimensional repercussions at the socio-economic level, which the European Union has been addressing. In this context, concerns about intergenerational solidarity and social sustainability are gaining prominence and constitute the cornerstones of the life-cycle approach embodied in the European Commission’s Green Paper on Ageing: Fostering solidarity and responsibility between generations, published in 2021. In this article, we aim to address the underlying challenges, as well as the opportunities that these demographic trends present in the European Union today, placing special focus on the aforementioned report. We also highlight important stakeholder inputs on this issue, notably the recommendation to put in place a human-rights based approach regarding the rights of older people in the European Union. It is also our intention to explore the notion of vulnerability associated with the elderly, essentially addressing the extent to which it can be applied uniformly to this group, and to briefly evaluate the concept of vulnerability in light of emerging theories that render it as a universal aspect of human life.
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