IIASA Interim Deputy Director General for Science, Wolfgang Lutz, has been appointed as a Special Adviser to Dubravka Šuica, the European Commission Vice President for Democracy and Demography, starting in April 2023.

Demographic change is widely acknowledged to be one of the most fundamental forces shaping Europe’s future. It is often characterized as the third major transformation of Europe together with the Green and Digital Transitions. For this reason the current European Commission has established a specific portfolio on this topic entrusted to Vice President Šuica. It serves as the focal point for population related statistical information, analyses as well as policies. With many European governments being deeply concerned about population aging, low birth rates and population decline and with international migration being a highly controversial topic, her team is tasked with producing analytical and policy papers and launching a broad debate on long-term impacts of aging such as on care and pensions, and ensuring that Europe’s social protection systems adequately address the needs of an aging population and the risk of poverty. It will also consider demographic trends outside of Europe.

Wolfgang Lutz with Dubravka Šuica © IIASA

Wolfgang Lutz with Dubravka Šuica, European Commission Vice President for Democracy and Demography

Lutz will support the commission in the analysis of the work done to date, and advise on next steps. He will also provide tailored advice, representation, and support to the Vice President and her cabinet regarding the different strands linked to demography, both conceptually and procedurally, and provide advice regarding mainstreaming demography in relation to the evaluation, preparation, and implementation of policy initiatives, legislation, and budget.

Lutz is a leading academic in the field of population and sustainable development and was one of the scientists appointed by the UN to write the Global Sustainable Development Report 2019 ‘The Future is Now’. He has published widely on international population trends with a special focus on population forecasting, population-development-environment interactions, and on introducing education as a standard demographic dimension in addition to age and sex. He has won numerous prestigious awards including the Wittgenstein Prize, two European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grants, the Mattei Dogan award of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP), and most recently, the Science Prize of the Austrian Research Association.  

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