Christian Bodewig: Migrants Could Help Economies of Europe’s Aging Nations

Opinions | September 25, 2015, Friday // 13:27|  views

Refugees and migrants disembark from the ferry `Eleftherios Venizelos at the port of Piraeus, near Athens, Greece, 25 September 2015. Photo EPA/BGNES

It appears ‘counterintuitive’ to oppose immigration for countries in central and eastern Europe facing the prospect of rapid decline in population due to high emigration and drops in fertility, Christian Bodewig argues in a blog post on the Brookings Institution website.

“The Baltic countries and Bulgaria have already seen their populations shrink by more than 15 percent since 1990, Croatia by 10 percent, and Romania and Hungary by more than 5 percent,” the author says in the blog post “Is the refugee crisis an opportunity for an aging Europe?”

According to Bodewig, “the real policy question for the countries of Central Europe and the Baltics today is therefore not whether to accept migrants or not but, rather, how to turn the challenge of today’s refugee crisis into an opportunity” for their economies. 

Christian Bodewig is the World Bank Human Development Sector Leader for Central Europe and the Baltics, based in Brussels.

You can read the original article here.

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Tags: fertility, emigration, World Bank, Brookings Institution, refugees, migrants, Bulgaria, population


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