This exploratory opinion responds to a request made by the Polish Presidency. One of the key messages is that the number of high quality jobs needs to be increased. If we succeed to use the untapped employment reserves in all age brackets, many other issues - for instance the long term funding of the pension systems - will be solved. If the real retirement age is to be raised then it is necessary to ensure that people can work longer. The opinion lists a package of measures to make working conditions favourable for older people.
With this opinion the EESC wants to highlight all forms of older peoples' participation in society. It recommends eliminating any barriers to their involvement and fostering their contribution. This means: increasing the offer of adapted learning for older people, namely on ICT, encouraging them to work until the retirement age and possibly beyond, provided that work environments and contractual arrangements meet their needs, valuing their role as volunteers, in particular as informal care givers, and recognising them as important consumers of goods and services.