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Procedure : 2016/2144(INI)
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Document selected : A8-0033/2017

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Debates :

PV 13/03/2017 - 13
CRE 13/03/2017 - 13

Votes :

PV 14/03/2017 - 6.11
Explanations of votes

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Texts adopted
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Tuesday, 14 March 2017 - Strasbourg Final edition
EU funds for gender equality

European Parliament resolution of 14 March 2017 on EU funds for gender equality (2016/2144(INI))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 2 and Article 3(3), second subparagraph, of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and Article 8 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to Article 23 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 of 2 December 2013 laying down the multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the years 2014-2020(1),

–  having regard to the joint declaration of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission(2) attached to the MFF on gender mainstreaming,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1304/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on the European Social Fund and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1081/2006(3),

–  having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management(4),

–  having regard to the Commission communication entitled ‘Mid-term review/revision of the multiannual financial framework 2014-2020 – An EU budget focused on results’ (COM(2016)0603),

–  having regard to the Commission staff working document entitled ‘Horizon 2020 Annual Monitoring Report 2014’ (SWD(2016)0123),

–  having regard to the Commission working document on ‘Programme Statements of operational expenditure for the Draft General Budget of the European Union for the financial year 2017’ (COM(2016)0300),

–  having regard to the Joint Staff Working Document of the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy ‘Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: Transforming the Lives of Girls and Women through EU External Relations 2016-2020’ (SWD(2015)0182),

–  having regard to the Commission staff working document entitled ‘Strategic engagement for gender equality 2016-2019’ (SWD(2015)0278),

–  having regard to its resolution of 13 September 2016 on Creating labour market conditions favourable for work-life balance(5),

–  having regard to the study entitled ‘The EU Budget for Gender Equality’, published in 2015 by Parliament’s Policy Department D and the follow-up study on the use of funds for gender equality in selected Member States, published in 2016 by Policy Department C,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 21 September 2010 entitled ‘Strategy for equality between women and men 2010-2015’ (COM(2010)0491),

–  having regard to its resolution of 8 March 2016 on Gender Mainstreaming in the work of the European Parliament(6),

–  having regard to the Council of Europe report on Gender Budgeting: final report of the Group of specialists on gender budgeting – Strasbourg 2005,

–  having regard to Rule 52 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality and the opinions of the Committee on Budgets and the Committee on Budgetary Control (A8-0033/2017),

A.  whereas equality between women and men is a fundamental value of the European Union enshrined in the Treaties; whereas Article 8 of the TFEU lays down the principle of gender mainstreaming, stating that ‘in all its activities, the Union shall aim to eliminate inequalities, and to promote equality, between men and women’;

B.  whereas, among the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, to be achieved by 2030, No 5 is gender equality, which applies to all 17 goals;

C.  whereas the Commission’s Strategic Engagement for Gender Equality 2016-2019, published in December 2015, highlights the key role of EU funding in support for gender equality; whereas no EU institution has consistently implemented gender budgeting;

D.  whereas spending and revenue decisions impact women and men differently;

E.  whereas Parliament, in its resolution of 6 July 2016 on the preparation of the post-electoral revision of the MMF 2014‑2020: Parliament’s input ahead of the Commission’s proposal(7), supports the effective integration of gender mainstreaming;

F.  whereas gender issues are usually more often addressed in ‘soft’ policy areas, such as human resources development, rather than in ‘hard’ ones, such as infrastructure and ICT, which receive higher financial support;

G.  whereas a well thought-out system of care-related leave together with high-quality, affordable and accessible care, including public facilities, must be provided in order to balance professional and private life, and whereas expenditures on these facilities are to be considered as part of infrastructure investments; whereas these two factors are a precondition for women’s participation in the labour market, in leading positions, in science and research and thus for gender equality;

H.  whereas the joint declaration of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission calls for the annual budgetary procedures applied for the MFF 2014-2020 to integrate, as appropriate, gender-responsive elements, taking into account the ways in which the overall financial framework of the Union contributes to increased gender equality and ensures gender mainstreaming; whereas, despite this fact, there is a need to step up the firm commitment to gender mainstreaming, since there has been minimal implementation of existing policies and insufficient budgetary resources have been earmarked for gender issues;

I.  whereas a downgrading of gender equality in public debate and the policy agenda has become evident at both EU and national level since the 2008 crisis; whereas the fiscal consolidation and budget constraints imposed by the crisis are likely to reduce further the available resources for gender equality strategies and bodies;

J.  whereas, at a juncture at which there is a crisis of confidence in the EU, ensuring that its finances are fully transparent should be a priority for all the European institutions, and is something they must not ignore;

K.  whereas, according to the 2015 Gender Equality Index published by the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), the goal of gender equality in Europe is still far from being achieved;

L.  whereas one of the most telling measures of gender equality is equal pay; whereas, however, EU efforts and their results in increasing female labour-market participation and the equal economic independence of women and men, promoting equality between women and men in decision-making, combating gender-based violence and protecting and supporting victims, and promoting gender equality and women’s rights across the world are of equal importance;

M.  whereas in 1995 the United Nations Beijing Platform for Action called for a gender-sensitive approach to budgetary processes;

General observations

1.  Welcomes the intended mainstreaming of gender equality in line with Article 8 of the TFEU, as a cross-cutting policy objective of the EU budget in EU funds and programmes;

2.  Regrets, however, the fact that the EU’s high-level political commitment to gender equality and gender mainstreaming has not yet been fully reflected in the budget allocations and spending decisions in EU policy areas as part of a gender budgeting methodology;

3.  Notes that gender budgeting is part of an overall strategy on gender equality and stresses, therefore, that the commitment of EU institutions in that area is fundamental; regrets in this context that no EU gender equality strategy was adopted for the period 2016-2020 and, calls on the Commission to enhance the status of its Strategic Engagement for Gender Equality 2016-2019 by adopting it as a Communication, echoing the Council Conclusions on Gender Equality of 16 June 2016;

4.  Stresses the importance of the structures and processes involved in budget-making and the need to change those which have been shown to underpin, or unintentionally promote gender inequality;

5.  Notes that awareness‑raising and training on gender mainstreaming and gender budgeting is necessary to develop gender‑sensitive structures and procedures;

6.  Notes that some EU programmes (e.g. the European Social Fund (ESF), the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme 2014‑2020 (REC), Horizon 2020, the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance II (IPA II), in the field of humanitarian aid, the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) and the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR)) include specific actions related to gender equality, while others (such as the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI), the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD), the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), and the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF)) contain references to the general principles of gender equality, but very few programmes actually lay down clear targets and dedicated resources or provide for systematic implementation and monitoring;

7.  Deplores that several programmes include gender equality only as a transversal objective, which not only leads to lower support for gender-specific actions, but also makes it almost impossible to estimate the amounts that are allocated to gender issues(8);

8.  Deplores that most of the EU-funded programmes do not have specific targeted actions with specific budget allocations on gender equality; notes that gender equality should be recognised as a policy objective in the EU budget titles and in doing so the amount allocated to individual policy objectives and actions should be specified, in order for them to be more transparent and not overshadow gender objectives; considers, likewise, that budgetary control tasks should indicate the extent to which the EU budget and its implementation favour or hinder equality policies;

9.  Regrets that tools for gender mainstreaming, such as gender indicators, gender impact assessment (GIA) and gender budgeting (GB), are very rarely used in policy design and implementation, whether at EU level or by national institutions; regrets the current lack of comprehensive gender indicators and gender-disaggregated data and highlights the fact that EIGE should gather gender indicators and collect gender-disaggregated data in order to make a consistent picture of the gender equality impact of EU policies possible as well as correct financial and budgetary accountability in relation to it; stresses the fundamental role of EIGE in closing the gap in collaboration between statisticians and policy makers in order to raise awareness of the challenges involved in collecting sensitive data; repeats, therefore, its call for indicators and statistics on gender issues to be further developed in order to permit the assessment of the EU budget from a gender perspective as well as the monitoring of gender budgeting;

10.  Regrets that, in spite of the joint declaration on gender mainstreaming having been attached to the MFF, there has been little progress in this field;

11.  Regrets deeply the fact that no clear gender equality strategy with specific objectives, concrete targets and allocations, has emerged from the MFF 2014-2020;

12.  Regrets that the Commission’s communication on the MFF midterm review published in September 2016 makes no reference to the implementation of gender mainstreaming;

13.  Calls for gender equality strategy and its mainstreaming to become part of the European Semester;

14.  Underlines that transparency and access to information on real achievements in gender equality rather than just on implementation should be a real priority for the European Union;

15.  Calls for gender mainstreaming provisions also to be adopted in policy fields that are not considered to be immediately related to gender equality, such as ICT, transport, business and investment support or climate change;

16.  Considers that a network of external experts and organisations should be involved in all stages of the budgetary process to increase transparency and its democratic quality, in particular when it pertains to applying a gender budgeting approach;

EU funding for gender equality in employment, social affairs and inclusion through the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds)

17.  Points out that the ESI Funds constitutes the most important financial support for the implementation of gender equality policy in the EU, especially in the case of the ESF, which aims to foster the full integration of women in the labour market; underlines that Regulation (EU) No 1304/2013 makes gender mainstreaming a compulsory part of all phases of programmes and projects financed by the ESF, including preparation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation;

18.  Stresses the important role of public services in promoting gender equality; calls on the Commission and the Member States to work towards the achievement of the Barcelona targets in order to make work-life balance a reality for all, as well as using the appropriate tools and incentives, including the European Funds such as ESF, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), ensuring the necessary social infrastructure funding for the provision of quality, affordable and accessible care services for children and other dependent persons, including elderly dependents and family members with disabilities; notes that this will result in enhancing female participation in the labour market and women’s economic independence;

19.  Deplores that women still suffer from inequalities at work, such as lower participation rates in employment, the pay gap, the greater incidence of atypical or part-time employment, poorer pension entitlements, career segregation and poorer levels of progression; stresses the importance of ESF in providing funding opportunities to combat discrimination and promoting gender equality at work;

20.  Notes that the traditional approach fails to take into account unpaid work, such as childcare and caring for the elderly in the payment of social benefits;

21.  Notes that according to the Commission Staff Working Document on the Strategic engagement for gender equality 2016-2019, EUR 5,85 billion will be spent in the period from 2014-2020 on measures promoting gender equality, of which 1,6 % come under the ESF for the specific investment priority ‘Equality between men and women in all areas, including in access to employment, career progression, reconciliation of work and private life and promotion of equal pay for equal work’;

22.  Notes that ERDF funding should continue supporting investment in childcare, caring for the elderly and other public and private social infrastructure to promote, among other outcomes, a better work-life balance;

23.  Stresses the important role of the EAFRD in ensuring the necessary funding to support public services and social infrastructure in rural areas and promoting access to land and investment for women;

24.  Calls on the Commission to propose new targeted actions aimed at encouraging women’s participation in the labour market, such as a specific programme financed by the EAFRD to support female entrepreneurship;

25.  Calls on the Commission, the Member States, and regional and local governments to make use of the potential of cross ‑cutting financing opportunities under ESI funds to support projects aimed at promoting gender equality; highlights the importance of the partnership principle applied within the ESI funds, which contributes positively to gender mainstreaming at local level;

26.  Recalls the importance of the requirement to include gender-disaggregated indicators in the monitoring and evaluation of the Operational Programmes as provided for in Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013 laying down common provisions on the ESI Funds, in order to comply with the gender equality objective in the implementation phase;

27.  Deplores that, despite efforts to create a ‘standard’ in this field, a systematic method for the implementation of gender mainstreaming within the ESI Funds has not yet been established nor have targeted actions linked to an overall gender mainstreaming strategy; calls on the Commission and the Member States to increase resources for gender equality assessment where needed and to follow consistently the implementation of gender mainstreaming;

28.  Recalls that ESI Funds are subject to an ex-ante conditionality on gender, which requires arrangements for the training of relevant staff and for the involvement of bodies responsible for gender equality throughout the preparation and implementation of the programmes; calls on the Commission to ensure that this requirement is fulfilled; calls for the effective use of the existing permanent gender equality bodies at Member State level; welcomes greatly, in this context, national best practices, such as the European Community of Practice on Gender Mainstreaming (Gender CoP) network in Sweden; urges Member States to guarantee the independence, effectiveness, as well as sufficient powers and resources for equality bodies to enable them to fulfil their principal tasks;

29.  Highlights the importance of giving special attention and priority to ESI Funds measures supporting investments in educational, social and healthcare services in addition to childcare facilities, given that these services are facing cuts in public funding at national, regional and local level and that it would increase the number of jobs;

30.  Recommends increased financial allocations in the MFF for social infrastructure and services for the care of children and the elderly;

EU funding for gender equality in the area of fundamental rights, equality and citizenship via the Rights, Equality and Citizenship 2014-2020 Programme (REC)

31.  Regrets that the budget lines under the Rights, Equality and Citizenship 2014‑2020 Programme (REC) do not specify the resources allocated to each of the objectives of the programme, making it very difficult to analyse the spending dedicated to gender equality and combating violence against women;

32.  Notes that, according to the Commission Staff Working Document for the Strategic Engagement for Gender Equality 2016-2019, the two objectives related to gender equality and to the Daphne programme for combating violence against women account for around 35 % of the REC funds, while the overall budget for gender equality in the area of fundamental rights, equality and citizenship via the REC 2014-2020 programme is EUR 439,5 million; points out that the majority of funds will be allocated under the Daphne objective compared with the gender equality objective; finds it regrettable nonetheless that Daphne has no separate budget line, given that it is currently one of the specific objectives of the REC Programme; emphasises the need for Daphne to be provided with sufficient financial support and for its visibility and highly successful profile to be maintained;

33.  Underlines that for the 2014-2020 period, the calls issued under the Daphne objective address all forms of violence against women and/or children; notes that the majority of resources have been earmarked for fighting and preventing violence linked to harmful practices (39 %) and for support for victims of gender-based violence, domestic violence or violence in an intimate relationship provided by specialised support services aimed at women (24 %);

34.  Notes that under the gender equality objective, the following priorities were addressed: equal economic independence of women and men and work-life balance (44 % of resources earmarked); promoting good practices regarding gender roles and overcoming gender stereotypes in education and training and in the workplace (44 %) and support for EU-level networks on gender equality themes (12 %);

35.  Stresses that citizenship-building should be associated not only with the defence and extension of rights, but also with welfare and well-being, education and training free from gender stereotypes and access to social and health services, including sexual and reproductive health;

36.  Deplores, however, the decrease in the funds available for the Daphne specific objective; points out that Daphne budget appropriations stood at EUR 18 million in commitments in 2013 compared with EUR 19,5 million in 2012 and more than EUR 20 million in 2011; notes further that in 2016, the REC work programme had foreseen just over than EUR 14 million for the objective;

37.  Calls on the Commission, when drawing up the annual work programme, to respect the appropriate and fair distribution of financial support between different areas covered by the specific REC objectives, while taking into account the level of funding already allocated under the previous programming period (2007-2013);

38.  Calls on the Commission to increase support for European networks on gender equality themes, thereby reinforcing opportunities for more peer-to-peer learning, notably amongst subnational authorities; notes in particular that specific support is needed to increase women’s participation in decision-making;

39.  Calls for greater clarity on how the objective on combating violence is pursued within the REC programme; highlights the importance of funds reaching grassroots organisations and local and regional governments in order to ensure effective implementation; calls for priority to be given to organisations dealing with the prevention of violence and supporting victims of all forms of violence;

40.  Recognises the need to ensure support for the implementation of existing local and regional gender equality initiatives such as the European Charter for Equality of Women and Men in Local Life;

41.  Calls on the Commission to bolster the requirement for the collection of gender-disaggregated data in the implementation of this programme, as an essential tool for effective gender budgeting analysis;

EU funding for gender equality in the area of research and innovation via Horizon 2020

42.  Highlights the fact that the Horizon 2020 programme (hereinafter ‘this programme’), in line with the requirements of Article 16 of Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013, mainstreams gender equality and the gender dimension in research as a cross-cutting issue in each of the different parts of the work programme;

43.  Draws attention to the three mainstreaming objectives under this programme, namely: to foster equal opportunities and gender balance in project teams; to ensure gender balance in decision-making; and to integrate a gender dimension into research content;

44.  Welcomes the fact that this programme provides support for research bodies in implementing gender equality plans; welcomes also the joint project of the Commission and EIGE for creating an on-line tool for gender equality plans, as a means of identifying and sharing best practices with relevant stakeholders;

45.  Welcomes the fact that applicants have the opportunity to include training and specific studies on gender as eligible costs in their proposals;

46.  Welcomes the fact that gender balance in staffing is one of the ranking factors in the evaluation criteria in this programme and that the way in which sex and/or gender analysis is taken into account in a proposal is assessed by the evaluators alongside the other relevant aspects of the proposal;

47.  Welcomes the specific indicators used to monitor the implementation of a gender equality perspective in this programme, as well as the fact that, on the issue of gender balance in Horizon 2020 advisory groups in 2014, women’s participation was 52 %(9);

48.  Considers that a further review is needed in order to assess the results, also based on specific indicators, such as the percentage of women participants and women project coordinators in this programme, and to propose adjustments to the specific actions if required;

49.  Calls for gender mainstreaming to be further strengthened within this programme, and for the development of gender equality targets in strategies, programmes and projects at all stages of the research cycle;

50.  Calls for the maintenance of an independent line of funding for gender-specific structural change projects (such as Gender Equality in Research and Innovation (GERI) for 2014-2016), as well as of other gender equality topics in research and innovation;

51.  Welcomes the fact that one of the objectives in ‘Science with and for Society’ is to ensure gender equality, in both the research process and research content; welcomes, furthermore, the grants ‘Support to research organisations to implement gender equality plans’ and ‘Promoting Gender equality in H2020 and the European Research Area’; deplores, however, that there are no specific lines in the budget for the objectives outlined in this programme;

Other programmes and funds including specific objectives on gender equality

52.  Stresses that natural disasters have a major impact on infrastructure linked to public services and, therefore, that women are particularly affected; calls on the Commission to introduce a requirement for a gender‑sensitive analysis into the EU Solidarity Fund when evaluating the impact on populations;

53.  Notes that in the field of external actions and development cooperation, the Gender Action Plan (GAP) established for the period 2016-2020 covers the EU’s activities in third countries, and that there are several external assistance instruments that support gender equality objectives;

54.  Stresses that women and girl victims of armed conflicts have the right to receive the necessary medical care, including access to contraception, emergency contraception and abortion services; recalls that EU humanitarian aid must uphold the rights of girls and women under international humanitarian law and should not be subject to restrictions imposed by other partner donors, as noted in the EU’s 2016 budget; welcomes the EU’s approach in this respect; encourages the Commission to maintain its position;

55.  Calls on the Commission to earmark EU development funds for voluntary, modern family planning and reproductive health services in order to counter the financial shortfalls caused by the ‘global gag’ rule established by the new US Government and thus to save women’s lives, protect their health and prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections;

56.  Highlights that gender mainstreaming is also included among the founding principles of the recent Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF); reiterates its call to take into account the gender dimension within migration and asylum policies by ensuring that women have access to safe space, specific healthcare linked to sexual and reproductive health and rights and that special attention be paid to the specific needs of vulnerable persons, such as women, who have suffered violence, including sexual violence, unaccompanied minors and other groups at risk, including LGBTI;

57.  Calls for a comprehensive set of EU-wide gender guidelines to be adopted on migration and asylum policy with adequate funding for comprehensive training programmes for professionals who may come into contact with refugees and asylum seekers; emphasises that these should be sensitive to the gender‑specific needs of refugee women and concomitant gendered harms, such as the trafficking of women and girls;

58.  Highlights the ongoing issues of overcrowding in refugee reception centres and the impact this has on women’s safety; calls for greater use of AMIF to improve reception centres with separate sleeping and sanitation facilities for women and men, and access to gender-sensitive health services, including prenatal and postnatal care;

59.  Considers that Member States should be encouraged to make greater use of cohesion funds and ESI Funds alongside AMIF to promote the integration of refugees in the labour market, with a specific focus on how accessible childcare enables women refugees to access employment;

60.  Calls for a review of the increased funding for and wider scope of the Daphne and Odysseus programmes, with an assessment on expanding them to address the severe vulnerabilities experienced by women refugees and provide greater support in addressing these gendered harms;

61.  Emphasises that other funds, such as the Internal Security Fund (ISF), special financial instruments like the Emergency Support Instrument and other ad hoc instruments and grants, have been mobilised to address needs in the context of the present refugee crisis; points out the difficulty in monitoring the use of these funds, in particular from a gender perspective, and calls for the use of EU funding in this area to be coordinated, effective, transparent and gender-sensitive;

62.  Calls for specific funding to support targeted measures involving grassroots organisations, local and regional governments to ensure that the basic needs, human rights, safety and security of asylum‑seeking, refugee and migrant women and girls, including the pregnant and elderly, as well as LGBTI are protected;

Policy recommendations

63.  Reiterates its request for gender budgeting to be used at all levels of the EU budgetary procedure; calls for the consistent use of gender budgeting throughout the budgetary process, so that budgetary expenditure can be used as a means of promoting gender equality;

64.  Calls for strong and effective gender budgeting and gender mainstreaming to be incorporated and implemented in the post-2020 generation of EU funding programmes, with a view to increasing EU funding for measures to combat gender discrimination, while taking into account the following aspects:

   (i) identifying the implicit and explicit gender issues;
   (ii) identifying – where possible – the allied resource allocations; and
   (iii) assessing whether the EU funding programmes will allow existing inequalities between women and men (and groups of women and men), girls and boys and patterns of gender relations to continue or whether they will lead to change;

65.  Calls for all EU budget titles to pursue equally strong gender targets and gender mainstreaming standards;

66.  Calls for the amount to be allocated to individual policy objectives and actions dedicated to gender equality to be clearly specified in order to increase transparency and accountability;

67.  Notes that gender mainstreaming is not a one-off exercise and that gender budgeting requires an ongoing commitment to understanding gender, which includes analysis and consultation and ongoing budget readjustments to take account of the changing needs of women and men, boys and girls;

68.  Considers the EU-level funding of EUR 6,17 billion allocated in the current MFF for achieving the objectives of gender-strategic engagement as a first step;

69.  Believes that the mid-term review of the MFF could have represented an opportunity to improve the results achieved by the EU budget in the pursuit of gender equality, and to demonstrate those achievements to the public;

70.  Regrets, therefore, the Commission’s decision not to address the issue of implementing gender mainstreaming in its mid-term review of the MFF, and calls for more specific action to address this;

71.  Calls for gender-specific indicators to be applied in the project selection, monitoring and evaluation phases of all actions that receive funding from the EU budget; calls, in addition, for mandatory gender impact assessment as part of general ex-ante conditionality, and for the collection of gender-disaggregated data on beneficiaries and participants;

72.  Recommends strongly that gender-disaggregated data should be made available to the public in order to ensure financial accountability and transparency;

73.  Calls for the methodology of the report ‘Gender Equality Index 2015 – Measuring gender equality in the European Union 2005-2012’, published by EIGE in 2015, to be adopted for measuring gender inequality as a basis for planning and implementing EU funding programmes;

74.  Calls for the EU institutions and Member States to organise regular training and technical support programmes on gender mainstreaming tools for all staff involved in policymaking and budgetary procedures; calls for the use of gender budgeting in both EU and national strategies to be encouraged, in order to promote gender equality more effectively;

75.  Calls on the Commission to monitor closely the effectiveness of national complaints bodies and procedures in the implementation of gender equality directives;

76.  Requests that the Court of Auditors also incorporate the gender perspective when assessing the execution of the Union’s budget, in relation to both the specific objectives of the EU’s equality policies and the horizontal aspects of those policies, in both its recommendations and its special reports; requests similarly that Member States introduce the gender dimension into their budgets in order to analyse government programmes and policies, their impact on the allocation of resources and their contribution to equality between men and women;

77.  Reiterates its concern at the conspicuous lack of gender balance – involving the widest gap in all the EU institutions – among Members of the European Court of Auditors, which currently comprises 28 men and only three women (two fewer than at the beginning of 2016); calls on the Council, from now on and until an acceptable balance has been reached, to propose two candidates to Parliament, a woman and a man, for each future appointment;

78.  Praises the work of the office of the Commissioner for Human Rights in Poland, which according to the Law on Equal Treatment, is the equality body responsible for the implementation of equal treatment legislation; expresses its deep concern about the recent budget cuts affecting those parts of the office of the Commissioner for Human Rights dealing with gender equality; recalls that the national equality body should be adequately staffed, funded, and its independence respected and maintained;

o   o

79.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission.

(1) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 884.
(2) OJ C 436, 24.11.2016, p. 51.
(3) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 470.
(4) OJ C 373, 20.12.2013, p. 1.
(5) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0338.
(6) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0072.
(7) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0309.
(8) Commission working document Part I on ‘Programme Statements of operational expenditure’ accompanying the Draft General Budget of the European Union for the financial year 2017 (COM(2016)0300), p. 15.
(9) European Commission, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, ‘Horizon 2020 Annual Monitoring Report 2014’, ISBN 978-92-79-57749-9, p. 44.

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