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President - demosEUROPA - Centre for European Strategy
Paweł Świeboda is president of demosEUROPA - Centre for European Strategy. Previously, he served as the EU Advisor to the President of Poland between 1996 and 2000. He then headed up the Office for European Integration in the Chancellery of the President. From 2001 to 2006 he served as director of the department of the European Union in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where he was responsible for EU accession negotiations and subsequently institutional reform in the EU and negotiations on the financial perspective.
Summary of essay
Pension reform is one of the most difficult adjustments needed to cope with Europe's ageing population, and the current economic and financial crisis has aggravated the challenge. Pension funds are a key part of financial markets, which means that the way they are designed and regulated has substantial influence on the free movement of capital and labour.
Pension transferability is key to labour mobility, which benefits the European economy and individual prosperity. The impact of ageing and the economic crisis has put enormous pressure on budgets, capital markets, individuals and enterprises. To encourage labour mobility across the EU, pension transferability needs to be made possible.
Europe needs to simplify the existing pension systems. Governments should set up individual pension accounts which would help transferability and transparency. Cross-border funds for highly mobile workers should be created and pension tracing schemes should be introduced more widely to allow for the tracking of pension rights from different sources.