EC launches procedures against Poland for discrimination

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 9, 2017

Poland's Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy said the introduction of different retirement ages for men and women is "lawful and in line with social expectations as well as with Polish tradition".

However plans to reverse the changes to the retirement age could be stopped by the EU, as they could be "incompatible" with the EU's laws, a letter from the European Commission to the Polish government said. According to Andreeva, the European Commission wants to resolve the problems before the law comes into force in order to avoid the sanction procedure, as EC claims that the establishment of different retirement ages for men and women is a form of discrimination. At the moment, the age of retirement in Poland is 67 years for men and 63 years for women.

"What we propose reflects not only social expectations but also different roles for women, different roles for men".

As part of this change - which the rest of the European Union as well as democracy watchdogs and Polish opposition parties criticise as undermining the rule of law - male and female judges would be allowed to retire at a different age.

The Commission explained in its letter to Rafalska that, while countries were not obliged to legislate for equal retirement ages immediately, a permanent exemption from the general aim of reaching gender equality on social protection was not possible.

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