AGE warmly welcomes the emphasis placed in the Spring Summit conclusions, following the Council meeting of 13-14 March 2008, on the need to consider intergenerational solidarity within all four components of flexicurity. AGE considers intergenerational solidarity to be essential in promoting the interests of all members of European society. It is therefore crucial that an intergenerational approach is also taken in the contribution of the European Alliance for Families to promoting a better reconciliation of work and family life.
Ministers once again mentioned only the need for available and affordable quality child care to allow men and women to reconcile work with private and family life. However, quality and accessible care is needed for all dependents, including the old and the disabled, in order to enable workers of any age to balance their employment commitments with their responsibilities for dependant relatives. This issue holds a particular resonance for older women as the burden of care often falls on them. According to Anne-Sophie Parent, AGE Director, “It is the contribution of older women which can bring significant gain to both the workplace and society. For such benefits to be realised, measures must be put in place to help women achieve a greater parity in their working lives and to better reconcile their work and family duties.”
AGE also welcomes the importance given by the Council to the need for Member States to take concrete action to attract more adults, particularly low-skilled and older workers, into education and training. “Education is an effective way of promoting active inclusion at any age and for providing opportunities for the ongoing development of workplace skills throughout the life course”, observed Anne-Sophie Parent.
The conclusions of the Spring Council 2008 are available here.