Cohesion funds alone won’t fix EU ‘brain drain’
Internal movement will cause a radical reshuffling of the EU population by 2060 unless trends moderate.
Using various demographic scenarios, a three-year investigation by the European Commission and scientific institute International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) sheds light onto this slow-moving, but consequential force reshaping the EU.
Under current conditions, dramatic population reductions await Romania (-30 percent), Croatia (-30 percent), and Lithuania (-38 percent) among others
That decline unfolds over only the next few decades. If internal flows reach an equilibrium, the changes are much less severe: Romania (-14 percent), Hungary (-18 percent), and Lithuania (-20 percent), mostly due to natural decreases from having small families
Austria receives the largest proportional gains from intra-EU mobility, and Germany’s population would be about stable if not for receiving newcomers from the east and south (+7 percent with vs. -1 percent without)
The scale of these movements, over time, carry important implications
While cohesion funds and remittances support development to varying degrees, they are not a substitute for the human capital – economic and social potential – of a country’s people.