Background and Objectives of the Study
Demographics and the Future of EU Structural Funding
Since demographic and economic trends are linked to each other in various ways, this transformation raises direct questions about the future economic and social cohesion of the European Union. A central conclusion of this study is that a demographic handicap is manifest when there is a decline in the share of the working-age population, and, in turn, a decline in regional per capita gross domestic product. The findings regarding Eastern Germany are clear. No other area of Europe faces a similar level of demographic pressure through a shrinking working-age population.
The goal of this report is to identify the economic disadvantages and dangers of a regional “drifting apart” in the EU due to various demographic changes as well as to isolate the demographic indicators that have a clear connection to regional economic strength.
With regard to the formulation of future EU cohesion policy, there is thus a clear basis for incorporating quantifiable demographic factors and their impacts on regional per capita income into decision-making processes regarding the distribution of financial assistance.