Making the most of aging populations

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: (Published 04 March 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:554

As the European Union begins to contemplate its own middle age the opportunities and challenges of an aging population are making their way on to the union's agenda. Twice in the past two months the social affairs commissioner, Padraig Flynn, has drawn the attention of the policymakers to the issues.

Shortly before Christmas the commission produced its first demographic report on the European Union—an annual requirement under the Maastricht treaty. At the end of February Flynn's officials put the finishing touches to a modest programme to develop the role of people who have retired but want to remain active.

The demographic report is likely to be important as the union analyses how well it meets its objectives of promoting employment, providing social protection, and developing human potential. Firstly, it …

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