The impact of demographic change on local and regional government
All European countries are facing challenges from demographic change. These fundamental developments have complex consequences for local and regional authorities. They influence nearly every sphere of life: labour markets, housingmarkets, social security systems, infrastructure, urban/spatial planning, education, budgets and finances. The Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) mapped the impact of ageing in four European countries and the policy responses of local authorities.
The impact of demographic changes differs from city to city and from region to region. This has led to different strategies and approaches to face the issue. The CEMR study examines local authorities of different sizes in the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany and Spain.
The research report documents and synthesises the challenges facing municipalities in the four countries for four policy fields:
- social services
- spatial planning (mainly housing and transport)
- employment and social inclusion
- local community activities
This publication was written by the German Institute of Urban Affairs (DIFU) for the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR).
The study is for a large part based upon information found on the internet. As a consequence, municipalities and projects not documented online were not included in the study. A second source of information was direct contact with experts and officials in the four selected countries.
The report gives a first impression on the impact of demographic changes on local and regional government. Further and more detailed research is necessary before conclusions can be drawn about the impact, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of projects. However, the researchers did come to some more general conclusions:
- All four countries are affected by demographic change, but to a varying extent and in differing time horizons.
- The national political debates on ageing focus more on its costs for the social insurance system than on its social, spatial and economic implications.
- Shrinkage seems to be a topic particularly relevant in eastern Germany. Here, some cities have lost more than 20 to 25 percent of inhabitants since 1990.
- On the local and regional government levels, most of the projects documented are in the field of social services, especially infrastructure.
- Only very few local authorities have adopted an integrative
strategic approach to manage the effects of demographic change.
Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
Mr Patrizio Fiorilli
Beate Hollbach-Grömig and Jan Trapp (DIFU)
Rated 0 time(s)
Report | The impact of demographic change on local and regional government
23 Mar 2007, pdf, 216KB