Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-06-01-Speech-4-012"

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". Mr President, Commissioner, ladies and gentlemen, I should like to pay tribute to the excellent work of our rapporteur, Mrs Niebler, who has at all times been careful to take account of the differing points of view of her fellow Members in order to improve this recast directive as much as possible. I therefore hope that the result obtained will not go unheeded, and will not just be a declaration of intent from the Member States, as is often the case when it comes to matters of equality of treatment for men and women. Need I remind you that a better work-life balance is a vital condition for meeting the objectives that the EU has set itself in the Lisbon strategy and regarding jobs and growth? I am therefore grateful to the Commission and the Council for agreeing to make a statement on parental leave as the European Parliament requested. I am also delighted at this agreement between our institutions, because the recasting of these seven directives on equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment and working conditions will enable us to increase transparency and to clarify what rights our fellow citizens have, particularly with regard to direct or indirect discrimination, harassment, and equality in terms of pay and occupational pension schemes. With particular regard to the latter point, I would take the liberty, Commissioner, of urging the Commission to require France to meet the commitments it made when it ratified the Treaty of Rome, which was the first to condemn all gender-based discrimination, particularly with regard to pension rights. The deadline for transposing Council Directive 96/97/EC of 20 December 1996 on the implementation of the principle of equal treatment for men and women in occupational social security schemes was 1 July 1997. To date, France is still in contravention of Community law, because the directive has still not been transposed. What are we waiting for? I am also pleased that the deadlines set by this recast directive regarding transposition and sanctions for failure to implement the text have been reduced in comparison with the initial proposal. The gathering of statistics will also give us an impression of the overall situation and allow us to assess the changes and adjustments made at European level. It is our responsibility to establish a real European policy on equal treatment for men and women, which must be effective and must be able to change mentalities quickly, since this is absolutely vital for a true transformation of society."@en1

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