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    Although long recognized as beneficial, a global language has not come to fruition despite considerable past efforts. A major reason is that many policy makers and citizens fear that such a universal language would undermine the particularistic, constituting primary languages of local and national communities. This dilemma can be greatly diminished by a two tier approach, in which efforts to protect the primary language will be intensified but all the nations involved would agree to use the same second language as the global one. Although theoretically the UN or some other such body could choose such a language, in effect English is increasingly occupying this position. However, policies that are in place slow down the development of a global language, often based on the mistaken assumption that people can readily gain fluency in several languages.


Amitai Etzioni
Amitai Etzioni is universiteitshoogleraar aan de George Washington University in Washington DC en directeur van het Insititute for Communitarian Policy Studies. Hij wordt beschouwd als een van de grondleggers van het communitarisme. Enkele van zijn meest bekende werken zijn The Active Society (1969), The Spirit of Community (1993) en The New Golden Rule (1996).

    This article identifies institutions and arrangements concerning the reconciliation of working life and family life for various European countries. These institutions and arrangements concern time (flexible working hours and leave arrangements), money (tax systems) and facilities (childcare facilities). A fairer distribution of all work and care tasks requires proper facilities at national level in respect of childcare, parental leave, so-called leave savings schemes, the right to work part-time, etc. Such facilities are of particular importance while taking the first steps towards a fairer distribution: they will enable men to take on more tasks at home, while making it easier for women to work outside the home. The article concludes that with regard to reconciliation facilities, the differences between the several welfare states within the European Union are fading away. This is interesting, because as a result the EU countries are increasingly finding common ground in terms of solutions for reconciliation and more specifically the role of men.


Ivy Koopmans
Ivy Koopmans is als onderzoeker verbonden aan de Utrecht School of Economics van de Universiteit Utrecht. Adres: Utrecht School of Economics, Vredenburg 138, 3511 BG Utrecht, I.Koopmans@econ.uu.nl

Joop Schippers
Joop Schippers is hoogleraar Arbeids- en Emancipatie-economie aan de Universiteit Utrecht en tevens is hij als programmahoogleraar verbonden aan de Organisatie voor Strategisch Arbeidsmarktonderzoek (OSA). Adres: Utrecht School of Economics, Vredenburg 138, 3511 BG Utrecht
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