Ageing Europe may well have to bite the immigration bullet

Without employment gains from migration, Europe will need an improbably big boost in productivity to sustain its living standards - or see them decline


EUROPE is ageing faster than any other region of the world. It badly needs immigrants. But many Europeans don't want them.

The "old continent" may be able to offset the impact of a greying workforce until around 2020 by bringing more women and elderly people into work, encouraging mobility within Europe and making better use of existing migrants, EU and OECD experts say.

But in the medium to long term, the European Union will need to attract significant numbers of skilled workers from beyond its borders - and overcome growing public opposition highlighted by the rise of populist anti-immigration parties. "If you close the door (to immigration), you will pay an economic price," says Jean-Christophe...

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