Demography and Nation: Social Legislation and Population Policy in Bulgaria, 1918-1944

Demography and Nation: Social Legislation and Population Policy in Bulgaria, 1918-1944

Demography and Nation: Social Legislation and Population Policy in Bulgaria, 1918-1944

Demography and Nation: Social Legislation and Population Policy in Bulgaria, 1918-1944

Synopsis

The first attempt in Bulgarian historiography to investigate the origins of state policy toward population and the family in Eastern Europe.

Excerpt

1. Outlining the problem

THE OBJECTIVES OF THE RESEARCH

In 2005, the European Commission published the Green Paper Confronting Demographic Change: A New Solidarity between the Generations, which addressed the latest developments in Europe's demographic situation, and, in particular, outlined the challenges of a new demographic [crisis.] The Paper implied a positive correlation between economic performance and population growth, placed in the context of the combination of reduction in birth numbers, ageing, and the dwindling potentials for immigration. The Green Paper noted that the fertility rate within the EU had fallen below the threshold to renew the population (around 2.1 children per woman), and in many Member states below 1.5 children per woman. If the total working age population (15–64) was considered, it was foreseen that over the following two decades, the EU's population would drop by 20.8 million— which, by itself, was said to endanger the potential annual growth in the Gross National Product. An exchange of the experiences of the EU Member states in their national social policies was encouraged to counteract the pessimistic demographic trend. Bulgaria, a small country at the fringe of Southeastern Europe, was among the first to respond to the EU Commission's appeal. By 2006, Bulgaria had already outlined her national demographic strategy for over a decade ahead, in which the socialist legacy of pronatalism was acknowledged.

Commission of the European Communities, [Communication from the Commission: Green Paper 'Con
fronting Demographic Change: a New Solidarity between the Generations'] (COM (2005) 94 final, Brus
sels, 16.03.2005), pp. 2, 5, http://www.berlin-divercity.de/diwiki/images/e/ee/Green_paper_demography.
pdf; last accessed on 28 March 2009.

National Demographic Strategy of the Republic of Bulgaria, 2006–2020 (Sofia, 2007).

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