BSF through the years     2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019

Panel 1: The Depopulation Challenge: Shaping the Future Social, Political and Economic Landscape (in Partnership with UNDP and UNFPA)

Panel 1: The Depopulation Challenge: Shaping the Future Social, Political and Economic Landscape (in Partnership with UNDP and UNFPA)

Discussion points:

  • What kinds of demographic futures can we expect in the region, Europe, and globally?
  • How does demographic change affect votes, political culture, and priorities?
  • Will population decline threaten economic growth, impoverish nations and shift power balances?
  • How does demographic change affect disparities between and within countries, and how can it exacerbate uneven developments and associated tensions?
  • How can countries best prepare for demographic futures?

 

Globally, there are 17 countries that have seen sustained population decline over the period 1990—2020 and all these countries are located in Eastern Europe. Population decline fundamentally affects progress towards most of the goals and targets on today’s development agenda – with clear spillover effects on global politics and security. Demographic shifts also influence vulnerability of countries to crises, as exemplified by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the ability of countries to respond to various shocks.

The UN Secretary General has identified demographic change in Europe as one of five mega-trends that circumscribe the implementation of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. The EU has similarly made demographic change a priority issue and is committed to address it by promoting demographic considerations across EU policy and budgets, honouring important linkages between demographic transition and democracy, recognizing the need to reduce regional disparities in this regard. National governments increasingly recognize addressing demographic change as a top priority. They are concerned how low fertility, migration, population ageing and, in some cases, shrinking populations will affect economies and the sustainability of social security systems, vital infrastructures and services.

In Serbia, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) are working closely with the government and partners to support the country in dealing with the lasting effects of depopulation through strategic investment in human capital and supporting future-oriented system transformation.

 

Selected readings:

What to do about Eastern European Migration Crisis, Alana Armitage

Want to increase birth rates? Try gender equality, Alana Armitage and Tomas Sobotka