In order to improve its capacity for surveying socio-economic developments in the European Union the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Gender Parity has established a Social Situation Observatory composed of thematic research entities with the task of undertaking independent analysis of the social situation in Europe. The Observatory is coordinated by the Commission. It is composed of four specialised networks dealing, respectively, with (i) demographic trends and their implications for social and economic conditions, (ii) social inclusion, (iii) social cohesion, trust and participation and, (iv), health status and living conditions. The project is contracted on an annual basis, for a maximum of four years.
The network dealing with demographic trends is headed by the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI, the Netherlands) and includes the Centre for European Policy Studies, the Center for Social and Economic Research (CASE, Poland), the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW, Germany) and the Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS, Austria), all members of the European Network of Economic Policy Research Institutes (ENEPRI). In addition this team is seconded by a Network of high-level population and social policy experts. The main task of this team is to prepare an Annual Report on demographic trends for inclusion into an Annual Report on the Social Situation in the EU. The contribution by CEPS will in particular cover the implications of demographic trends for economic growth, productivity and labour market developments (in collaboration with DIW) while IHS and CASE will cover broader social implications of demographic developments.