Spain has appointed its first ever demography minister, a move which follows the appointment of the first Commissioner for Demography by the European Union. A large part of their respective roles will be to attempt to manage widespread depopulation.
The European Union’s free movement policy has resulted in some member states struggling to fill their labour forces and manage an ageing population. Educated young people are increasingly drawn to the most prosperous European Union cities, which is a problem when youth are in short supply.
Additionally, many member states value provincial life and culture, yet are watching their treasured family farms and small villages become less and less viable. The people who live in rural areas are feeling increasingly under-resourced and even like “second-class citizens” according to reports. Writing from New Zealand, it saddens me to think that the picturesque villages of Europe might disappear.