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06/29/2023 15:56

A platform for dialogue between research and politics in Europe: “FutuRes Policy Lab” has launched

Andreas Edel Pressestelle
Population Europe

    How long should we work? When are we allowed to retire? Are these even the right questions? With an expert panel discussion about the future of work, the “FutuRes Policy Lab” launched this week. EU-Parliamentarian Beatrice Covassi spoke with researchers about strategies for future labour market resilience.

    A high-level expert discussion about labour market reforms marks the launch of the “FutuRes Policy Lab”, a new European platform for dialogue between research and politics.

    In the first event, five experts from research and policy discussed strategies for the future of work in a public webinar on Tuesday: Member of the European Parliament, Beatrice Covassi, the President of the WZB Berlin Social Science Center, Jutta Allmendinger, the Head of the Social Policy Department at Eurofound, Massimiliano Mascherini, the Director of the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy, Ulrich Becker, and Head of Research of the FutuRes Project, Arnstein Aassve.

    The experts discussed responses to the crisis of European pension systems. As the baby boomer generation retires, countries such as Germany and France have responded by raising the age of retirement. This expectation to work until an older age has been met with frustration by many, and outright anger by some.

    The “FutuRes Policy Lab” asked: “Is working longer really the only solution?”

    EU Parliament Member Beatrice Covassi spoke with urgency about the problems which labour markets face in an aging society. "Europe is getting older,” said the Italian MEP. “Politicians have ignored this reality for far too long."

    Covassi cautioned, however, against reducing the discussion only to retirement age. "The riots in France show that this cannot be the only solution - maybe not even the best one." Instead, Covassi argued for exploring ways to make work more compatible with private life, for example by working fewer hours and more flexibly. As an expert on digitalisation, she argued that for the resilience of the labour market, it is essential that Europe make significant steps forward in the development of its digital infrastructure.

    The president of the WZB Berlin Social Sciences Center Jutta Allmendinger argued that retirement ages should be more flexible, depending on type of labour. "People who do heavy physical work can rarely do so until the age of 67," the German Professor of Sociology said. "Professors, judges and other highly educated groups, on the other hand, can and often wish to work beyond the official age limit.” She warned that this divide may lead to “even greater inequality in retirement income."

    Allmendinger also criticized Germany for not investing enough in re-training. "The need to change jobs over the course of a lifetime is increasing,” she said. “In Germany, the idea still prevails that training for one specific career should last a lifetime. For many people, however, this has long since ceased to be true. Empirical evidence shows that it is predominantly well-educated people who are offered, and who take advantage of, continuing education. This must apply to everyone."

    The experts joined the debate on invitation by Arnstein Aassve, one of Europe’s leading researchers in the field of crisis resilience. Aassve is a Professor of Demography at Bocconi University in Milan and the Head of Research on the EU-funded project “FutuRes – Towards a Resilient Future of Europe”.

    The "FutuRes Policy Lab" will regularly bring together experts from research, politics, business and civil society. The goal is to develop ideas for policies that promote resilience and to feed these ideas back into research and policymaking. All discussions are based on scientific findings, practical experience and the perspective of citizens.

    View the full video of the event here:

    To connect with the Policy Lab, follow FutuRes on social media:

    About the FutuRes research project:

    For further questions, please contact Peter Weissenburger, Population Europe:

    FutuRes has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101094741.

    Contact for scientific information:

    Population Europe Secretariat

    Markgrafenstraße 37
    10117 Berlin

    +49 (0)30 2061 383 -30 | Fax -50

    More information: Das Projekt "FutuRes - Towards a Resilient Future of Europe" Das FutuRes Policy Lab auf Twitter FutuRes Policy Lab auf Linkedin


    MEP Beatrice Covassi spoke at the first FutuRes Policy Lab
    MEP Beatrice Covassi spoke at the first FutuRes Policy Lab

    Population Europe/Eric Vidal/European Commission

    Criteria of this press release:
    Business and commerce, Journalists, Scientists and scholars, all interested persons
    Economics / business administration, Environment / ecology, Information technology, Politics, Social studies
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    Research projects, Transfer of Science or Research


    MEP Beatrice Covassi spoke at the first FutuRes Policy Lab

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