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Susanne Schmid (2007)

The Analysis of Demographic Discrepancies between the EU-27 and Its „Periphery" – Development Differences and Migration Potentials*

In: Zeitschrift für Bevölkerungswissenschaft, Vol. 32, 3-4/2007, p. 667-702, Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, ISSN: 0340-2398

This article provides an approach towards the interpretation of current demographic developments in and around the European Union (EU-27). The starting point of the analysis is the fact that the population of the EU-27 is falling in size – despite ongoing immigration – and on average is becoming ever older, whilst in the developing countries, and in the South Eastern and Southern periphery of Europe in particular, considerable population growth will continue for several decades. The consequences of this asymmetrical demographic development are the subject of this survey. Three areas are focussed on: (1) an analysis of development differences, (2) the EU-27 as distinct from its periphery in demographic and social terms, as well as (3) the migration potential in the area around the EU-27.

Social differences can be shown using demographic indicators, which is shown by the example of these topics. Using the population development of today’s EU-27 from 2007 to 2050, the shrinkage trend of the European EU Member States, their changed age structure and their role as immigration countries, are discussed. The resultant tension between the European Union and its "periphery" will affect and change both spheres, especially since this periphery is divided into two completely different areas. Eastern and South Eastern Europe, in which problems of demographic ageing and political conflicts come together, and then the Near East (the Middle East and North Africa) which finds itself in a phase of demographic growth and is regarded as an area of extreme political instability. The article focuses on demographic asymmetries, as well as on the cause and effect of migration potentials "at the gates of Europe". The change in significance which migration has undergone from the EU in the past 50 years plays a role.

* Original title: Die Analyse demographischer Diskrepanzen zwischen der EU-27 und ihrer „Peripherie“ – Entwicklungsdifferenzen und Wanderungspotentiale (full text in German only)

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