Demographic, social change and equality

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Demographic ageing will force European society to adapt and European people to change their behaviour. The extent to which these societal and behavioural changes can be brought about in a positive way will depend largely on the choice of policies put forward at European, national and local level. (‘Towards a Europe for All Ages’, 1999) Introduction It is stated that the principles of equal treatment and non-discrimination are at the heart of the European Social Model. According to this view, they represent a cornerstone of the fundamental rights and values that underpin today's European Union. But does equality, in its legal and philosophical sense, have meaning without a human context? Can we discuss these concepts without anchoring the discussion within the lives and experiences of real people in a real world? This chapter will argue that any discussion on the conceptualisation of equality and non-discrimination in the European Union has to be done within a concrete social context. When discussing and constructing the legal concept of ‘equality’, one cannot ignore the social context, in general, and the demographic context, in particular. Equality in the European Union today cannot be understood without realising the unique social revolution that Europe is going through: a demographic revolution. Truly, a dramatic change in the last decade has led to unprecedented ageing in the population of Europe and other developed countries.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEquality Law in an Enlarged European Union
Subtitle of host publicationUnderstanding the Article 13 Directives
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9780511493898
ISBN (Print)0521865301, 9780521865302
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2007

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Cambridge University Press 2007 and 2009.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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