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Croatia's PM Plenkovic warns EU over depopulation of the continent

EPA-EFE/JULIEN WARNAND
Prime Minister of Croatia Andrej Plenkovic (C) arrives for a European Council summit in Brussels, Belgium, 12 December 2019.

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Croatia’s Prime Minister, Andrej Plenkovic warned EU leaders that freedom of movement across the continent is “killing” small nations.
“This is a structural, almost an existential problem for some nations, and we are not the only one,” said Plenkovic in an interview given to FT.
Europe’s population is shrinking due to low birth rates and ageing population while Croatia also points to emigration to prosperous regions as one of the principal reasons behind the continent’s depopulation.
Croatia, EU’s youngest member, has a history of an unrelenting depopulation, being the fifth-fastest shrinking country in the world.
Eurostat, EU’s statistical agency demonstrated that at the beginning of 2019, Croatia’s population was 4.07 million, the lowest it has been since 1957 and according to a UN study, this number will further drop to 3.46 million by 2050.
The Croatian PM wants Brussels to put demographics at the heart of its agenda.
As the country took over the EU Council’s Presidency on 1 January 2020, Croatia also managed to have the portfolio of democracy and demography assigned to its Commissioner, Dubravka Šuica, who successfully joined Ursula von der Leyen‘s College of Commissioners.
“We really did a lot in terms of demographic politics, tax, childcare, amounts of money that we give to parents for motherhood, etc — we are doing as much as we can. But I think we should do something at the European level,” added Plenkovic.
Serbia has been trying to provide cash benefits for each child, while correspondingly, Viktor Orbán, Hungary’s PM has been promoting higher birth rates. Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis also announced a €2,000 handout for every child born as of 1 January 2020.
 
 
 
 

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