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Maribor

With a population of more than 130,000 inhabitants, Maribor is the second largest city in the Republic of Slovenia, and is situated in Styria, 274 metres above sea level, in the north-eastern part of the country. It is only 18 km away from the Austrian border, and for centuries has been an important junction between the north and the south, as well as between Eastern and Western Europe. In the future, Maribor should secure its position in the UE on the basis of certain facts about the area, including an exceptional traffic location; its human potential, characterized by its education level and the possibilities in the research and development area; the high quality and the diversity of the environment. Maribor is also an important regional centre and university city.

 In Maribor the labour market participation of the older workers depends very much on job opportunities in a context of high unemployment and low overall labour demand. In 2007 the unemployment rate for the 50-60 age group was 28.5%. Early retirement is one of the main reasons for scant exploitation of the older workforce, and it is driven by  health problems, lack of suitable knowledge and competence, poor working condition and weak incentives for companies to encourage older workers to retire later. Poverty is becoming an increasingly important issue, in particular it is single retired women who are more commonly at the poverty line. The municipality’s main policy challenges are thus focused on two issues. To retain older workers in the labour market and promote the re-entry of the most vulnerable sub-group, the over 50, through training and development of new skills. To promote social inclusion and active citizenship This requires the creation of specific programmes and the provision of subsidies to ensure access to basic services also to lower income elderly people. Establishing financial mechanism to fight poverty is deemed to be a major policy challenge. The municipality of Maribor has also  policy experience in the field of health and social care. It is currently running gerontology centres and is also co-financing social care programmes with civil society organizations. The municipality expects to exchange experiences in the field of improving life quality for the elderly, share good practice and get a fresh perspective through transnational partnership.

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