POLICY IS ONE THING - PEOPLE ARE DIFFERENT.

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Discussions have started on how to revise the European Employment Strategy (EES). The aim is still the achievement of the Lisbon employment targets, but the clock is ticking and some targets seem more within reach then others. Persuading older workers not to retire early seems tricky all across the EU and nigh on impossible in Member States like Belgium, Germany, Italy, France, Luxembourg and Austria. In opposition to official policy of increasing employment amongst older workers, and delaying retirement: indeed even increasing statutory retirement ages in some cases, older workers are voting with their feet for earlier retirement and the Lisbon employment targets for older people seem something of a mirage.

Progress towards the Lisbon employment targets for women looks better - at least on the surface. However, women are still earning less than men for work of equal worth, and in some Member States (ie the UK, according to latest figures) the pay gap is actually increasing. Furthermore, women...

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