Stan, Jonah, unsurprisingly (consider the source) that Newsweek article gets it wrong on a number of levels, but the most important thing to stress is that Europe’s declining birth rates need not be a problem – on the contrary, a little bit more elbow room on a crowded continent is an extremely good thing, not bad. The transition to lower population levels does, of course, come with some (temporary) problems, but these cannot be dealt with by, say, mass immigration (the EU establishment’s choice), an ineffective fix that creates more problems than it solves. Encouraging higher workforce participation, later retirement and higher productivity rates is a far better alternative.
If you do, however, want to boost the birth rate, the most effective approach is, as Sweden’s recent history demonstrates, to boost (usually state or state-funded) childcare provision so as to make it easier for women to combine a full-time career with motherhood. The irony is, of course, that that is exactly the sort of supposedly ‘anti-family’ policy that makes most natalists twitch.