Rather than encouraging migration, the European Union countries should create “national policies” aimed at avoiding a demographic crisis, László Kövér, parliament’s speaker, said on Thursday in Warsaw at a meeting of central and eastern European heads of parliament.
Discussing demographic and labour market sustainability, Kövér noted that
western European countries with labour market problems had drawn in more than 25 million trained people from CEE since 1990.
By 2050, it is estimated this figure will grow by another 20 million, he said, adding that the region should seek financial compensation from the EU to defray training costs of the emigrant labour force.
On the topic of sustainability, Kövér said the region’s natural resources were being increasingly exploited. The CEE is behind on meeting basic criteria for sustainability, he said, adding that the region’s strong economic growth was hard on the environment.
He proposed that either globally or regionally, countries should agree on spending a specific slice of their GDP, “for instance, half a percent”, on environmental sustainability modeled after NATO’s defence spending requirements.
Kövér said the central and eastern European countries could be the ones to initiate such an agreement, “since it’s not just the region’s military security that’s especially vulnerable, but also its environmental security”.
Marek Kuchcinski, speaker of the Polish Sejm, echoed Kövér’s views and also underlined the importance of having a one-speed Europe. He criticised the EU’s draft budget for the 2021-2027 funding cycle, namely its handling of agricultural and cohesion funds and the reduced funding for the bloc’s Eastern Partnership programme.