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The commission has drafted proposals to revive Europe's stagnating economy, but even if growth starts picking up across the bloc, the EU could still face economic problems in the future unless demographic trends were reversed.
" Ageing could cause potential annual growth in GNP in Europe to the fall from 2 to 2.25pc today to 1.25pc in 2040, with all that entails for entrepreneurship and initiative in our societies," the commission said in the report.
With the fertility rate declining, the working population of the 25-nation EU is set to fall by 20.8m people between 2005 and 2030.