Federal Government's demographic strategy
Demographic change is set to radically change Germany in the coming decades. Owing to the steadily increasing life expectancy and permanently low birth-rates, population numbers will continue to fall. At the same time, the average age of the population will rise. Years gained and a longer life-span will characterise each individual’s biography.
The Federal Government’s demographic strategy contains proposals on how Germany can utilise the opportunities and potential offered by demographic change in the future, so as to secure growth and prosperity in the long term.
At the core of the strategy we find those areas of life in which people experience the effects of demographic trends very directly and most significantly. The strategy’s fields of action are:
- Strengthening the family as a community
- Facilitating motivated, qualified and healthy work
- Living a self-determined life in old age
- Promoting quality of life in rural areas as well as integrative urban policy
- Securing the foundation for long-term growth and prosperity
- Maintaining the State’s ability to take effective action
The demographic strategy formulates concrete goals for these areas of action and identifies measures to accomplish them.
In its Demography Report of 26th October 2011, that was drawn up in preparation for the demographic strategy, the Federal Government presents an overview of the relevant demographic data and corresponding relationships as well as the measures taken to date by the various ministries in order to shape demographic change.
The Federal Ministry of Health also supports the implementation of the goals and measures contained in the demographic strategy.
The Act to Reorient the Long-Term Care Insurance (Pflege-Neuausrichtungs-Gesetz – PNG) adopted by the Federal Cabinet on 28th March 2012 prepares the long-term care insurance to cope with demographic change. The planned financial support for private long-term care plans will help to place the financing of long-term care on a sustainable footing and one of generational equity.
The Act on Care Structures in the Statutory Health Insurance that entered into force on 1st January 2012 is another contribution by the Federal Ministry of Health towards implementing the goals set out in the demographic strategy. With this Act, the Federal Government has pushed forward comprehensive measures that guarantee good, universal provision of care in the future.
A prevention strategy that is currently being elaborated for submission in the course of the year is yet another important component of the demographic strategy. One of the prevention strategy’s areas of emphasis is 'workplace health promotion’. Under the theme ‘Undertakings undertake health’, a number of events have already been held to inform particularly small and medium-sized enterprises of the health promotion possibilities that exist for their employees.
However, the demographic strategy’s areas of action do not only refer to measures of the Federal Government. The strategy also contains proposals that can only be carried out jointly with the Laender, municipalities, organisations, social partners and other civil society stakeholders and must be carried out in co-operation with them.
As a means of creating the preconditions for successful co-operation, the Federal Government will be initiating a broad-based process of dialogue.
Wherever it is useful and necessary in order to promote fair opportunities for the people of our country, not only inter-ministerial but especially also multi-level co-operation is to be expanded. To this end, the Federal Government intends to regularly invite the partners involved in shaping the strategy to attend a Demography Summit. In preparation for this meeting, working groups are to devise solution proposals for key issues. The working groups have been convening at the first Demography Summit in autumn 2012.
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