In the span of the 20th century, the world’s population grew from 1.6 billion to 6.1 billion. Today, our globe is home to over 7.1 billion people and increases by 220,000 per day. Some are concerned that this growth is unsustainable and will further disease, hunger and the destruction of environmental resources. But in a new BBC programme, Don’t Panic: The Truth about Population, Hans Rosling wants to reassure us about the world’s surging population.
The Coalition Government’s agenda to reduce migration will be challenged next year when Bulgarians and Romanians will become the latest EU workers allowed to come to Britain. Bulgaria and Romania (E-2) officially joined as EU member states in 2007. But the two countries are still outside the Euro zone and the Schengen region that allows free movement of workers from one EU member state to another. European integration in the last twenty years has shown that it is easier to freely move capital, goods and services, rather than people. The so-called “fourth freedom” of the EU demands the free movement of workers and is deeply engrained in the community ethos. But reconciling EU principles with national agendas has been a juggling act for national governments. UK policy-makers will be watching and waiting with baited breath in six months’ time when restrictions on 29 million Bulgarians and Romanians in the UK labour market will be lifted on January 1, 2014.