Over 55 The project acknowledges the fact that, unlike in the past, workers over 55 are nowadays still fully productive despite having reached the age of retirement. Withdrawal from the work force often leads to a state of depression. Therefore the social aspects as well as the economic aspects should be taken into account. Apart from the provision of “bonuses” already included in our country’s social security system, the Over 55 project also envisages a qualitative aspect. It assumes that the “elderly” workers – thanks to their experience accumulated over the years – represent an important resource for enterprises. Why not envisage a kind of tutorship provided for young people entering the work force? New employees will have at their disposal a “mentor” who can easily introduce them to the firm’s activities. The older worker will therefore play a prestigious role, perhaps leading to a higher salary and a less traumatic withdrawal from the firm. There is little experience in the use of good practices for workers over the age of 55. In the EU enterprises lack a culture dealing with the ageing issue, particularly in the public service sector, in spite of EU recommendations (Council of Stockholm, Council of Barcelona, Re-launching of the Lisbon Strategy). The added value of the Over 55 project lies in its innovative potential for the management of workers and for the dissemination of European policies in terms of “proactive ageing”. The new policies of Member States in favour of employment (decision of the EU council of 12/7/2005) help “refocus” the Lisbon strategy for growth and employment. Our Over-55 project could contribute to supporting: Policy 17 (to bring about strategies aimed at early employment and the improvement of quality and production in the workplace, as well as the strengthening of the social framework); and Policy 18 (to promote an approach to work based on the life-cycle by supporting proactive ageing, proper work conditions, improvement of health conditions and adequate work incentives, as well as disincentives for early retirement). The purpose of the Over 55 project therefore is to utilise those generations which are approaching the third age as a proactive social force. We are aware that these individuals – senior managers in particular – are more than willing to remain part of the work environment. The benefits they provide to enterprises should be sufficiently clear. Investing in the over 55 translates into a ready and continuous availability of highly motivated personnel, with specialised and consolidated know-how and ability. Their expertise is applicable to all professional sectors, from the operation of complex machinery to detailed knowledge of work environments, of public relations networks, and to the knowhow they have accumulated over the years.