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

Texts tabled :

A8-0033/2017

Debates :

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

Votes :

PV 14/03/2017 - 6.11

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2017)0075

REPORT     
PDF 453kWORD 85k
8 February 2017
PE 594.036v02-00 A8-0033/2017

on EU funds for gender equality

(2016/2144(INI))

Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality

Rapporteur: Clare Moody

AMENDMENTS
MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 OPINION of the Committee on Budgets
 OPINION of the Committee on Budgetary Control
 RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE
 FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

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 interinstitutional joint declaration 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(2),

–  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(3),

–  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 ‘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(4),

–  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(5),

–  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, 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 European Commission and the European Council 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(6);

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 having been attached to the MFF on gender mainstreaming, 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 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 unpaid work is an important element of economic efficiency, and 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 ESIF 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;

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;

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

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 its Regulation, 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 %(7);

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.  Deplores that the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) does not include a gender perspective; stresses that a successful recovery process is not possible without addressing the impact of the crises on women;

53.  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;

54.  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;

55.  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;

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.  Recalls that gender budgeting is a methodology that needs to be applied in all EU budget lines, not only for the programmes where the likelihood of a gender impact seems most relevant;

68.  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;

69.  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, and requests an increase in this amount in the next MFF;

70.  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;

71.  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;

72.  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;

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

74.  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;

75.  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;

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

77.  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;

78.  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;

79.  Calls for the monitoring and evaluation of the National Action Plan (NAP) for Equal Treatment 2013-2016 in Poland; expresses its concern that no separate funds from the central budget were earmarked for gender equality for the implementation of the NAP from the side of the public administration; calls for a balance to be achieved in the setting up of the monitoring body, including experts and representatives of women's rights and gender equality NGOs;

80.  Praises the work of the Commissioner for Human Rights in Poland, who according to the Law on Equal Treatment, heads the equality body responsible for the implementation of equal treatment; expresses its deep concern about the recent budget cuts affecting the Commissioner for Human Rights; recalls that the national equality body should be adequately staffed, funded, and its independence respected and maintained;

°

°  °

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

(1)

  OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 884.

(2)

OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p.470.

(3)

  OJ C 373, 20.12.2013, p. 1.

(4)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0338.

(5)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0072.

(6)

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)300, p.15.

(7)

European Commission, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, ‘Horizon 2020 Annual Monitoring Report 2014’, ISBN 978-92-79-57749-9, p. 44.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

Equality between men and women is a fundamental value of the European Union enshrined in the Treaties. Gender equality has also been addressed in 15 directives that have been adopted by the EU and has been an explicit goal of some parts of the EU Budget. However, regardless of the measure that is used to determine gender equality we are still a long way from achieving this aim. This report therefore calls for the budget to be used much more proactively and targeted to deliver on the goal of gender equality.

EU funding already makes an important positive contribution to promoting gender equality.

Some EU programmes (such as the ESF, REC and Horizon 2020) have specific action related to gender equality, while others only contain references to gender equality general principles. However very few programs provide for clear targets and dedicated resources and for a systematic implementation and monitoring. In general, gender issues are usually more addressed in “soft policy” areas such as human resources development, than in “hard” ones, like transport, climate, ITC.

This report assesses how gender mainstreaming is applied in the EU funds allocations with focus on EU funding for child care in the framework of the ESI Funds, gender mainstreaming in the use of Horizon2020 funding and gender mainstreaming in the use of the REC programme (focus on the gender Equality Objective and the follow up of the Daphne Programme on VAW). It gives policy recommendation on how to better internalise the EU declared principle of gender equality and gender mainstreaming in the budget allocation and spending decisions of the EU policy areas.

Within the ESIF, according to the EC Operational Programmes agreed with the Member States, regions and the Commission, approximately EUR 5.85 billion will be spent in 2014-2020 on measures promoting gender equality. Thus the ESI Funds are the most important financial support for the implementation of gender equality policy in the EU, in particular the EST which intends to foster the full integration of women into the labour market; 5,85 billion EUR will be spend in 2014-2020 on measures promoting gender equality out of which 1,6% 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”. Action could be taken beyond these specific measures, for example ERDF funding should also be used to support investment in childcare and other social infrastructures. Research has shown that investing in care services would create almost as many jobs for men as investing in construction industries and would create almost four times as many jobs for women.

The REC Programme 2014-2020 (which replaces the earlier programmes Progress, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship and Daphne III) has an overall budget of 439.5 million EUR over the period 2014-2020 of which 35% are earmarked for the two gender Equality objectives under this programme (“promoting equality between women and men and gender mainstreaming” and “Preventing violence against children, young people, women and other groups at risk (Daphne)”. However, there is a lack of gender disaggregated data in the implementation phase of this programme. Furthermore, the Rapporteur deplores the decrease in the funds available for the Daphne specific objective and recommends an appropriate and fair distribution of financial support between the different area and more clarity on how the objective to combat violence is perused under the REC programme.

In the area of Horizon2020, the rapporteur welcomes the gender mainstream approach as a cross-cutting issue in each of the different parts of the work programme, in line with the requirements of Art 16 of its regulation; however a further review is needed in order to assess the results based on the indicators and gender mainstreaming should be further strengthened in all pillars of the programme. The rapporteur underlines that Independent lines for funding for gender-specific structural change projects (such as GERI for 2014-2016) should be maintained while envisaged changes to subsume gender equality funding under a more general heading should be avoided.

However the Rapporteur believes the EU could make much better use of its budgetary resources to work towards this goal. An EPRS study has concluded that a clear gender strategy, with specific objectives, targets or allocations, is not present in the MFF 2014-2020. Gender budgeting is not systematically applied in the EU general budget. It is often not possible to determine what, if any, resources are allocated to achieving gender objectives within programmes. For many programmes, information from a gender perspective on financial allocations as well as on implementation and outcomes are lacking or are incomplete. Important tools for gender mainstreaming, like Gender Indicators, Gender Impact Assessment (GIA) and Gender Budgeting (GB) are very rarely adopted both in EU and national institutions. There are exceptions to this such as the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme which does include gender mainstreaming and suitable indicators.

In recent years there has also been a regrettable move away from implementing gender equality policies. Targeted gender related programmes have not been immune to this trend, the Daphne programme is one EU level example of the reduction in funding over time of a gender specific policy.

Mainstreaming gender equality in the EU Budget provides an opportunity to help inform and then target action to restore progression on our stated path towards achieving gender equality. By taking this broad view of the positive role that the EU Budget can play in addressing this fundamental aim we can reverse the recent trend against taking action.

The Rapporteur is disappointed that the Commission’s Mid-term review of the Multi-Annual Framework makes no proposals in this area and does not reference gender mainstreaming. The Rapporteur believes that gender budgeting as an action on its own raises the awareness of the need to address inequality. When properly implemented with gender indicators it should also demonstrate where there is a positive impact as a consequence of the EU budget and show where there may be failings in the use of the budget. By measuring clearly the positive added value that is delivered through the implementation of EU programmes we will be able to prove to our citizens the significant difference to gender equality that is delivered through the budget.

This report therefore calls for the budget to be used much more proactively to deliver on the goal of gender equality that has been central to the EU’s work from the beginning.


OPINION of the Committee on Budgets (16.12.2016)

for the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality

on EU funds for gender equality

(2016/2144(INI))

Rapporteur: Eider Gardiazabal Rubial

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Budgets calls on the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

A.  whereas the Strategic Engagement for Gender Equality 2016-2019, published in December 2015, highlights the key role of EU funding in support of gender equality, one of the European Union’s founding values;

B.  whereas Article 8 TFEU states the following: ‘In all its activities, the Union shall aim to eliminate inequalities, and to promote equality, between men and women’;

C.  whereas, in its report on the revision of the MFF 2014-2020(1), Parliament must give greater support to effective integration of gender mainstreaming so as to combat all forms of discrimination;

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

E.  whereas gender budgeting entails the introduction of the gender perspective at all levels of the budgetary process, from planning and preparation to auditing and evaluation, and the need to increase EU funding to promote gender equality;

F.  whereas the lack of specific gender indicators and of collection of gender-disaggregated data, as well as insufficient implementation strategies, regrettably makes it impossible to achieve correct financial and budgetary accountability with a view to evaluating the gender equality impact of EU policies;

G.  whereas the Gender Equality Index 2015 – Measuring gender equality in the European Union 2005-2012, published by the EIGE in 2015, sets out a detailed assessment and a sound methodology of measuring gender inequality in full alignment with the principle of gender mainstreaming;

H.  recalling the Interinstitutional Agreement between Parliament, the Council and the Commission on Better Law-Making of 13 April 2016, in particular Articles 20 to 24 thereof on ex-post evaluation of existing legislation as a basis for further action;

I.  welcoming the efforts undertaken in introducing gender-specific indicators and collecting gender-disaggregated data in some EU legislative measures and policies such as in the European Social Fund (ESF);

1.  Regrets that the implementation of the EU budget does not currently match the EU’s high-level commitment to gender equality;

2.  Calls for all budget titles to pursue ambitious and clear gender targets and gender mainstreaming standards, and to specify the amount to be allocated to individual policy objectives and actions in order for them to be more transparent and not overshadow gender objectives; believes that gender equality should be embedded as a distinct policy objective in all titles of the EU budget;

3.  Calls for gender-specific indicators and criteria to be applied, where applicable, in the project selection, monitoring and evaluation phases of all actions that receive funding from the EU budget, and for the systematic collection of gender-disaggregated data on beneficiaries and participants, including as regards instruments backed by the EU budget, while avoiding overregulation;

4.  Looks upon the EU-level funding of EUR 6.17 billion allocated in the current MFF for achieving the objectives of this gender-strategic engagement as a first step, and asks for an increase in this amount in the next MFF; considers that this increase should be based on the evaluation of existing legislation as agreed in the Interinstitutional Agreement between Parliament, the Council and the Commission on Better Law-Making;

5.  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 continue or change existing inequalities between women and men (and groups of women and men), girls and boys and patterns of gender relations;

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

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

8.12.2016

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

22

5

2

Members present for the final vote

Nedzhmi Ali, Richard Ashworth, Jean-Paul Denanot, Gérard Deprez, José Manuel Fernandes, Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, Jens Geier, Ingeborg Gräßle, Zbigniew Kuźmiuk, Vladimír Maňka, Clare Moody, Paul Rübig, Petri Sarvamaa, Patricija Šulin, Eleftherios Synadinos, Indrek Tarand, Monika Vana, Marco Zanni

Substitutes present for the final vote

Xabier Benito Ziluaga, Bill Etheridge, Ivana Maletić, Andrey Novakov, Derek Vaughan

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Clara Eugenia Aguilera García, José Blanco López, Edouard Ferrand, Valentinas Mazuronis, Claudia Schmidt, Nils Torvalds

(1)

Texts adopted, P8_TA (2016)0309.


OPINION of the Committee on Budgetary Control (19.1.2017)

for the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality

on EU funds for gender equality

(2016/2144(INI))

Rapporteur: Luke Ming Flanagan

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Budgetary Control calls on the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

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

A.  whereas equality between men and women is a fundamental value of the EU enshrined in the Treaties; whereas the EU’s strategy for equality between women and men 2010-2015 is about to come to an end, providing an opportunity for a stocktaking exercise;

B.  whereas the Joint Declaration by the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management calls for the annual budgetary procedure 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;

C.  whereas the Strategic Engagement for Gender Equality 2016-2019, published in December 2015, reaffirms the commitment to continue work to promote equality between men and women and highlights the importance of EU funding in support of gender equality;

D.  whereas EU funding for gender equality in the area of fundamental rights, equality and citizenship via the Rights, Equality and Citizenship (REC) 2014-2020 programme has an overall budget of EUR 439.5 million, of which 35 % is earmarked for the two objectives related to gender equality and to the Daphne programme for combating violence against women;

E.  whereas the fact that within the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF), approximately EUR 5.85 billion will be spent in the period 2014-2020 on measures promoting gender equality, of which 1.6 % falls under the European Social Fund (ESF) for the specific investment priority ‘Equality between men and women in all areas, including access to employment, career progression, reconciliation of work and private life and promotion of equal pay for equal work’,

F.  whereas within the EU’s own budgetary oversight institution, the European Court of Auditors, there is a major gender imbalance, which was perpetuated with every new nominee in 2016;

G.  whereas one of the most telling measures of gender equality is equal pay, but equally important are 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;

H.  whereas the Interinstitutional Agreement between the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission on Better Law-Making of 13 April 2016 supports establishing monitoring requirements, including measurable indicators, as a basis on which to collect evidence of the effects of legislation on the ground and to support further action while avoiding administrative burdens;

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

1.  Notes that gender budgeting should be an instrument of democratic governance that will help to ensure that gender equality becomes a reality; considers, likewise, that budgetary control tasks should indicate to what extent the EU budget and its implementation favour or hinder equality policies; is of the opinion that the current gulf between male and female pay for the same work is totally unacceptable;

2.  Notes that budgeting to foster equal opportunities for men and women is considered in certain policy areas (employment, social affairs and inclusion, home affairs, justice, development and cooperation, research and innovation, education and culture), but believes it should be included in all those policy areas in which it makes sense, and that it should help to guarantee women’s access to both the labour market and positions of responsibility and decision-making positions on the same terms as men, as well as helping to eliminate the gap in pay for the same work;

3.  Stresses the importance of including gender mainstreaming as a category of analysis in the budgetary process by ensuring the availability of qualitative analysis to monitor and ultimately close the gender pay gap, thus moving towards complete gender equality;

4.  Believes that properly implemented gender budgeting has a positive effect, improving employment prospects and remuneration for women generally, while also broadening the labour base;

5.  Suggests that particular attention should be paid to ESIF measures supporting investments in educational, social and healthcare services, having in mind that these services are facing reductions in public funding at national and local level;

6.  Deplores the fact that gender equality goals are too often subsumed by other policy goals that are addressed within the same budget line;

7.  Regrets the lack of gender-aggregated data and gender-specific indicators required to monitor and evaluate the action receiving funding from the EU budget to tackle gender equality; welcomes the efforts made to introduce gender-specific indicators and collection of gender-disaggregated data in some EU legislation and policies, for example in the ESF; believes it is important to intensify efforts to develop those indicators in order to monitor all key areas of EU gender-equality policy; welcomes and supports the commitment in the Strategic Engagement for Gender Equality 2016-2019 to improve data collection with the support of Eurostat, the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), Eurofound, the Council of Europe (CoE) and the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA);

8.  Reiterates its concern at the huge lack of gender balance – with the widest gap of 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 start 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;

9.  Calls on the European Court of Auditors, in light of the EU’s new budgeting for results procedure, to provide data on the impact of the budget and European programmes 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;

10.  Asks the Commission and the Member States to promote a holistic debate on policies and budgetary choices with a view to strengthening the policies contributing to gender equality and eventually achieving the ultimate goal of equal pay for equal work for all;

11.  Calls, in keeping with the principle of the responsible use of EU budget resources, for a detailed cost-benefit analysis with the aim of doing away with appropriations for gender mainstreaming which have been shown to be ineffective;

12.  Condemns all forms of discrimination and violence against men and women.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

9.1.2017

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

20

0

1

Members present for the final vote

Inés Ayala Sender, Ryszard Czarnecki, Dennis de Jong, Martina Dlabajová, Luke Ming Flanagan, Jens Geier, Ingeborg Gräßle, Verónica Lope Fontagné, Georgi Pirinski, Petri Sarvamaa, Claudia Schmidt, Bart Staes, Tomáš Zdechovský

Substitutes present for the final vote

Brian Hayes, Cătălin Sorin Ivan, Benedek Jávor, Dan Nica, Julia Pitera, Miroslav Poche, Patricija Šulin

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Clare Moody


RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Date adopted

25.1.2017

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

20

4

2

Members present for the final vote

Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, Iratxe García Pérez, Arne Gericke, Teresa Jiménez-Becerril Barrio, Agnieszka Kozłowska-Rajewicz, Florent Marcellesi, Angelika Mlinar, Maria Noichl, Marijana Petir, João Pimenta Lopes, Terry Reintke, Liliana Rodrigues, Michaela Šojdrová, Ernest Urtasun, Ángela Vallina, Jadwiga Wiśniewska, Jana Žitňanská

Substitutes present for the final vote

Catherine Bearder, Biljana Borzan, Rosa Estaràs Ferragut, Eleonora Forenza, Mylène Troszczynski, Julie Ward

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Sorin Moisă


FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

20

+

ALDE

Catherine Bearder, Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Angelika Mlinar

GUE/NGL

Eleonora Forenza, João Pimenta Lopes, Ángela Vallina

PPE

Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, Rosa Estaràs Ferragut, Teresa Jiménez-Becerril Barrio, Agnieszka Kozłowska-Rajewicz

S&D

Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, Biljana Borzan, Iratxe García Pérez, Sorin Moisă, Maria Noichl, Liliana Rodrigues, Julie Ward

VERTS/ALE

Florent Marcellesi, Terry Reintke, Ernest Urtasun

4

-

ECR

Arne Gericke, Jadwiga Wiśniewska, Jana Žitňanská

ENF

Mylène Troszczynski

2

0

PPE

Marijana Petir, Michaela Šojdrová

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention

Last updated: 1 March 2017Legal notice