The Parliament took a step forward to promote equal opportunities between men and women. It adopted a second-reading report, based on an agreement with the Council and the Commission, which will enable the new European Institute for Gender Equality to start work in 2007.
Objectives and location
The Institute's objective is to contribute to and strengthen the promotion of gender equality, including gender mainstreaming in all Community policies and the resulting national policies, and the fight against discrimination based on sex, and to raise EU citizens' awareness of gender equality.
It will have a staff of 15 persons in 2007 (30 in 2013) and an annual budget of approximately €7.5 million (proposed budget for the period 2007-2013: €52.5 million). Following a Council decision of 1 December 2006, the Institute will be based in Vilnius (Lithuania).
The co-rapporteurs, Lissy Gröner (PSE, DE) and Amalia Sartori (EPP-ED, IT), welcomed the agreement. It takes into account tasks the Parliament called for in first reading such as to centre the Institutes activities on analysis and makes sure the Institute can be operational as soon as possible and in any event no later than twelve months after the entry into force of the Regulation.
Restricted Management Board
The Parliament in its first reading opted for a restricted Management Board to ensure an effective Institute. The agreement reached ensures a medium sized Board (18 representatives appointed by the Council plus 1 Member appointed by the Commission.
The agreement also takes on board the Parliament's demand to replace the Bureau by an "Experts' Forum" with members from competent bodies specialised in gender equality issues. Its main task will be to support the Director in the planning of the Institute's activities. Finally, the Parliament wants the nomination procedure of the Director to be open and transparent and to involve the Parliament.