Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-03-23-Speech-4-043"

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"Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, I too should like to thank the rapporteur for this excellent work. For my part, the issues that I wish to highlight are the two major challenges facing us: firstly, an ageing population for whom we want to ensure the best possible, dignified old age and, secondly, a low birth rate. We want the right balance to be restored in our continent between the expectations of women and those of our countries. In order to tackle the first challenge, two policies need to be followed. The first is to do away with any disincentive to extend a person’s working life, and therefore to endorse all policies designed to enable elderly people to remain directly involved in the job market for as long as possible. The second policy is to give the elderly the opportunity to remain within their communities for as long as possible. All social policies should be geared towards this objective: to remain in the family environment and in the surroundings of one’s own home, with residential care used only as a last resort. As regards birth-rate policy, I believe that, as always in life, it helps to have concrete evidence. It must be pointed out that, over the last few years, it was those very countries that took an intelligent approach to drafting new tax policies that went on to obtain good results; one interesting example is France. New tax policies, extensive employment opportunities for women, the opportunity to enter the job market and undoubtedly a new and different quality of services are therefore needed."@en1

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