The European Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs, Mr. Padraig Flynn, recently outlined the development of the Fourth Action Programme on Equal Opportunities for the period 1996 to 2000. The new programme will place increased emphasis on equal opportunities forming an integral part of all relevant policies and programmes of the EU, while encouraging the Member States to engage in similar initiatives at national level. In particular, it will be closely interrelated with the process of implementing the White Paper on Growth, Competitiveness and Employment. The Commissioner identified the following priority objectives: - The implementation of existing EU legislation must remain a priority; - The segregation of the labour market, which remains a persistent problem, and the low value attributed to women's work present difficult issues, both in terms of changing mentalities and in terms of achieving equal pay; - Women should have greater access to decision making; - The issue of care for dependants is of crucial importance. In this context, the Commission awaits the result of the consultation of the social partners on the reconciliation of professional and family life. Mr. Flynn asked the Advisory Committee on Equal Opportunities to provide realistic and specific proposals for implementation of the programme.