Members' Research Service By / May 1, 2019

Living in the EU

European societies face a variety of political, economic, social and cultural challenges. The multiple crises that challenge Europe, from within and without, have recently put considerable stress on the solidarity between nations, one of the fundamental pillars of European integration.

Asylum applicants per capita

Written by Giulio Sabbati (EPRS) and Caterina Francesca Guidi (Globalstat, EUI),

European societies face a variety of political, economic, social and cultural challenges. The multiple crises that challenge Europe, such as asylum and migration issues and the health of the economy, require careful consideration on the part of policy-makers. In the final approach to the 2019 European elections, the main objective of the new GlobalStat-EPRS series on ‘Living in the EU’ is to provide citizens and policy-makers with a picture of the factors that shape EU citizens’ lives. Issues such as the demographic challenge, the response to asylum and migration, economic policy, and indicators such as health and education, are all central to the public debate on the future direction for Europe. The series therefore presents statistical data based on EPRS and GlobalStat research on six main themes:

Climate change and energy:

Economic prosperity and environmental protection are interdependent. Monitoring how Member States perform in terms of emissions and energy supply represents a key element in deciding upon action to prevent climate change.


European Elections and Democracy:

Many Europeans show an increasing attachment to the EU and to its democracy. Could this herald a turnaround in the hitherto declining electoral turnout in Europe?



The EU population is ageing dramatically. While population growth is slowing, increasing old-age dependency ratios and east-west movement have serious implications for the economy, labour market, healthcare and pensions.

Asylum and Migration:

Migration from third countries plays an important role in shaping demography in the EU, but whether this can mitigate demographic challenges remains an open question.

Asylum applicants per capita



The EU coordinates economic policy with its Member States annually. Trade, taxes, social contributions and consumption-related household expenditure combine to provide a picture of citizens’ wellbeing.

Education and Health:

Health and education are the responsibility of EU Member States, with the EU providing complementary support, particularly on cross-border issues. These indicators therefore demonstrate a range of national differences, with consequences for citizens.


The European Parliamentary Research Service has prepared these publications, in cooperation with Globalstat and the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, in preparation for the ninth edition of ‘The State of the Union‘ address on 2-4 May 2019. Top leaders and thinkers will gather in Florence, just weeks before the pivotal European elections, to debate and reflect on the democratic functioning of the European Union, its Member States, and their capacity to respond to the aspirations and needs of future generations, with special emphasis on 21st century democracy in Europe.

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