FAFCE contributes to the work of the European Commission on brain drain in rural areas

1st of July 2022,

On the 21st of June 2021, FAFCE contributed to the European Commission public consultation on “Brain drain – mitigating challenges associated with population decline”.

Brain drain is the emigration of qualified people whose skills are scarce in their place of origin. Its negative effects can occur at national or regional level and can exacerbate problems in regions suffering from population decline. The European Commission launched this initiative to look into the different drivers of brain drain, its long-term consequences for the EU and potential comprehensive solutions to stop or even reverse it.

FAFCE welcomed the work of the European Commission to improve its cohesion policy in rural areas, and contributed with a 6-pages report to address the problem of low fertility rates, brain drain, depopulation, and ageing, notably by designing and implementing family policies to increase the attractiveness of rural regions. Worth is to mention that the depopulation in rural areas is only a symptom of the demographic winter touching all Europe. Nevertheless, rural families tend to face additional challenges: parents struggle to have a work-life balance and access to childcare services, the elderly are often isolated from both long-term care systems and social life, and the youth lacks access to education, job opportunities and to adequate support for their transition to family life.

A comprehensive answer to demographic challenges in rural areas must attack the root issues of depopulation: lower fertility rates and brain drain. Family policies allow to kill two birds with one stone: they support a fertility rate aligned to the wish of families free from economic constrains, and they encourage the long-term settlement of families in those areas for several generations, thus favouring community life and creating a network of solidarity for the elderly.

Please find below the report provided to the European Commission for a more family-friendly Europe in both rural and urban areas:

Read FAFCE full contribution