ATHENS, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) — Europe needs migrants to stay competitive, Dubravka Suica, vice-president for Democracy and Demography of the European Commission, told a forum on the demographic crisis held in Athens on Friday.
Faced with decreasing birthrates, European Union (EU) member states need to consider demographic figures to plan any economic policy and invest in human capital, including legal immigrants, to remain competitive, she said.
The population of people aged 65 or more in the EU will increase significantly, rising from 90.5 million at the start of 2019 to 129.8 million by 2050, while at the same time there will be 13.5 percent fewer people aged less than 55 living in the EU by 2050, according to projections by Eurostat, the EU statistics agency.
The workforce is aging and shrinking and legal immigration to the EU needs to increase by about 1 million people per year in coming years to fill the gap, according to EU.
In the context of the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) package to support the EU member states to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, until 2027 EU will invest 156 billion euros (169.78 billion U.S. dollars) for demography, including housing and education programs, Suica added. (1 euro= 1.09 U.S. dollar)