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EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Promoting equality between women and men

28-06-2019

The European Union (EU) is committed to eliminating inequalities and promoting gender equality 'in all its activities' and has made considerable advances over the years. Nevertheless, the situation remains uneven across the EU, and in recent times progress has slowed, stalled or even regressed in some areas. Yet, the evidence points clearly to the benefits of gender equality for individuals, the economy and society as a whole. Public opinion surveys show that a large majority of Europeans agree that ...

The European Union (EU) is committed to eliminating inequalities and promoting gender equality 'in all its activities' and has made considerable advances over the years. Nevertheless, the situation remains uneven across the EU, and in recent times progress has slowed, stalled or even regressed in some areas. Yet, the evidence points clearly to the benefits of gender equality for individuals, the economy and society as a whole. Public opinion surveys show that a large majority of Europeans agree that promoting gender equality is important for a fair and democratic society, the economy and for them personally and that a growing share of citizens would like the EU to do more in this area. Europeans also expect increased EU action on related policies. During the last legislative term, as part of a broader gender equality programme, the EU institutions have been working on proposals for new EU laws to improve work-life balance and combat violence against women. Promoting equality between women and men will remain one of the major challenges in the coming years. Demographic trends, technological developments and changes to the way we work are just some of the issues where different impacts on women and men will need to be considered. Options for further EU involvement could include better implementation and enforcement of existing legislation, moves to modernise it, fill gaps in protection and address emerging issues, and non-legislative measures such as data collection and monitoring, awareness-raising, and support for national and grassroots initiatives. It will require the political will at all levels to tackle issues across a broad spectrum of policies, together with the provision of the necessary institutions, tools and resources to put that resolve into action. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Human Rights

28-06-2019

In the 70 years since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – the first international document to set common standards of achievement for all states – the pivotal role and moral, legal and political significance of human rights in the international arena have become indisputable. However, despite considerable progress in many areas on recognition, codification and implementation, human rights have also come under increased attack. Whether in theatres of war or in the political ...

In the 70 years since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – the first international document to set common standards of achievement for all states – the pivotal role and moral, legal and political significance of human rights in the international arena have become indisputable. However, despite considerable progress in many areas on recognition, codification and implementation, human rights have also come under increased attack. Whether in theatres of war or in the political arena, human rights are now often rejected on ideological grounds. The EU itself has not been spared by the current backlash. In its Member States, a populist wave has empowered some political forces that increasingly question the significance of core human rights, such as the right to freedom of expression. In these troubled times for human rights, opinion polls show that European citizens perceive human rights as one of the most important values for them personally and one of the values that best represent the EU itself. Having emerged from World War II and its atrocities, European countries were determined to secure lasting peace, and the Union they created is founded on respect for democracy, the rule of law and human rights, which guide and shape its legislation and policies. Within the EU, recent action has included new legislation on data protection and access to justice, the European Pillar of Social Rights, and initiatives to combat inequality, discrimination and hate speech. There is also an acknowledgement that more needs to be done to complete the legal framework to combat discrimination and strengthen internal mechanisms for upholding the rule of law. Human rights are additionally a general objective of EU external action. The EU is deeply committed to promoting human rights, as enshrined in international treaties, in its relations with third countries and with other multilateral regional and global institutions. During Parliament's last mandate, the EU consistently applied and deepened a range of policy approaches that strengthen its role and image as a normative power that inspires others through its example. Maintaining and consolidating this policy remains vital for preserving the EU's image and credibility as a normative power based on values, and one that has the capacity to act at a time when the principle of multilateralism is increasingly questioned. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

Maternity and paternity leave in the EU

25-03-2019

This infographic aims to present the current maternity and paternity leave situation in EU Member States. Maternity leave policies in EU Member States are governed by the 1992 Pregnant Workers Directive. A new proposed directive on work-life balance, due to be voted on by Parliament in April 2019, is expected to introduce a mandatory period of paternity leave across the Union. Most EU countries also grant an additional period of parental leave, but parental leave is not covered in this infographic ...

This infographic aims to present the current maternity and paternity leave situation in EU Member States. Maternity leave policies in EU Member States are governed by the 1992 Pregnant Workers Directive. A new proposed directive on work-life balance, due to be voted on by Parliament in April 2019, is expected to introduce a mandatory period of paternity leave across the Union. Most EU countries also grant an additional period of parental leave, but parental leave is not covered in this infographic. This revised version presents the situation in the 28 Member States as known to us on 18 March 2019.

Women in politics in the EU: State of play

01-03-2019

Exactly one hundred years after women won the vote or were first elected to parliament in some EU countries, the data show that women continue to be under-represented in politics and public life, in the European Parliament, national parliaments and governments, and local assemblies. The arguments for gender balance in politics are numerous, and benefit not only women and female politicians, but also parties themselves and the rest of society. After all, women form half the population and need to ...

Exactly one hundred years after women won the vote or were first elected to parliament in some EU countries, the data show that women continue to be under-represented in politics and public life, in the European Parliament, national parliaments and governments, and local assemblies. The arguments for gender balance in politics are numerous, and benefit not only women and female politicians, but also parties themselves and the rest of society. After all, women form half the population and need to be better represented in power structures. However, there is now solid evidence both of obstacles and of the strategies that are effective when it comes to increasing women's participation and representation. Here, political parties and the media can be both barriers and important enablers. The EU has committed to achieving a gender balance in political representation and participation as a matter of justice, equality and democracy. Concrete recommendations have been made for achieving this goal, including specific action that could be taken by the EU institutions, national governments, political parties, civil society and the media. In the run-up to the European elections in May 2019, new mandates in the Commission and European Council, and the end of the EU's current strategy for gender equality, there is a particular focus on how a better gender balance (at least 40 %) or gender parity (50 %), could be achieved in the next Parliament and for other high-level posts in the EU institutions, and how the EU and its Member States can move towards true parity democracy.

Women in parliaments

21-02-2019

The Infographic "Women in parliaments" provides information on the proportion of women in national parliaments, compares representation of women in national parliaments with their numbers in the European Parliament and shows the number of women in the EP by political group. It also gives an overview of female representatives in the EP by Member State and outlines the gender quotas applicable to the EP elections in the current legislature. This is an updated version of an infographic published in ...

The Infographic "Women in parliaments" provides information on the proportion of women in national parliaments, compares representation of women in national parliaments with their numbers in the European Parliament and shows the number of women in the EP by political group. It also gives an overview of female representatives in the EP by Member State and outlines the gender quotas applicable to the EP elections in the current legislature. This is an updated version of an infographic published in February 2017.

Externý autor

CHAHRI, Samy

Situation of fundamental rights in the EU in 2017

10-01-2019

2017 was a year during which the EU saw both progress and setbacks in fundamental rights protection. For example, while the adoption of the European Pillar of Social Rights was a further step towards more equality, setbacks were encountered in the area of the independence of the judiciary, the work of civil society organisations and women’s rights. The Commission, the EU Fundamental Rights Agency and the Parliament regularly monitor the situation of fundamental rights in the EU. A LIBE committee ...

2017 was a year during which the EU saw both progress and setbacks in fundamental rights protection. For example, while the adoption of the European Pillar of Social Rights was a further step towards more equality, setbacks were encountered in the area of the independence of the judiciary, the work of civil society organisations and women’s rights. The Commission, the EU Fundamental Rights Agency and the Parliament regularly monitor the situation of fundamental rights in the EU. A LIBE committee report on the situation of fundamental rights in 2017 is scheduled for debate in plenary during January.

Combating anti-Muslim hatred in the EU

28-11-2018

Discrimination against minorities is against EU values and principles. However, research shows that discrimination against Muslims is becoming more common, and that it is increasingly supported by some political parties. EU secondary legislation on the issue is limited, and even grounds and areas of discrimination that are already covered need more work to ensure comprehensive protection. Nonetheless, several key legislative proposals are not making any progress, much to the regret of the European ...

Discrimination against minorities is against EU values and principles. However, research shows that discrimination against Muslims is becoming more common, and that it is increasingly supported by some political parties. EU secondary legislation on the issue is limited, and even grounds and areas of discrimination that are already covered need more work to ensure comprehensive protection. Nonetheless, several key legislative proposals are not making any progress, much to the regret of the European Parliament.

Violence against women in the EU: State of play

23-11-2018

Violence against women is a violation of human rights and a form of gender-based discrimination. Rooted in inequalities between men and women, it takes many forms. Estimates about the scale of the problem are alarming. Such violence has a major impact on victims and imposes a significant cost burden on society. The instruments put in place by the United Nations and Council of Europe, including the latter’s 'Istanbul Convention', to which the EU plans to accede, are benchmarks in efforts to combat ...

Violence against women is a violation of human rights and a form of gender-based discrimination. Rooted in inequalities between men and women, it takes many forms. Estimates about the scale of the problem are alarming. Such violence has a major impact on victims and imposes a significant cost burden on society. The instruments put in place by the United Nations and Council of Europe, including the latter’s 'Istanbul Convention', to which the EU plans to accede, are benchmarks in efforts to combat violence against women. The EU is tackling the problem in various ways, but has no binding instrument designed specifically to protect women from violence. Although there are similarities between national policies to combat violence against women, the Member States have adopted different approaches to the problem. Parliament's efforts have focused on strengthening EU policy in the area. Parliament has repeatedly called for a European Union strategy to counter violence against women, including a legally binding instrument. Stakeholders have expressed a range of concerns, such as the impact of the current economic climate on the prevalence of violence and funding for prevention and support for victims, and have highlighted the need for a comprehensive EU political framework on eliminating violence against women. They have also launched new initiatives of their own. This is a further update of an earlier briefing by Anna Dimitrova-Stull, of February 2014. The most recent previous edition was from November 2017.

Religion and human rights

21-11-2018

Although on the EU agenda for decades, recent events, such as the migration crisis and the issues with the rule of law in some Member States, have brought the issue of values back into focus. EU values are those of equality, freedom and respect for human rights. Freedom of religion and belief has significant protections in the EU and under the international legal framework. Religion, represented by churches, religious communities and other actors, is also a significant factor in the protection and ...

Although on the EU agenda for decades, recent events, such as the migration crisis and the issues with the rule of law in some Member States, have brought the issue of values back into focus. EU values are those of equality, freedom and respect for human rights. Freedom of religion and belief has significant protections in the EU and under the international legal framework. Religion, represented by churches, religious communities and other actors, is also a significant factor in the protection and promotion of human rights, both in the world and in the European Union. International human rights bodies have even formalised the participation of religious actors, mostly through exchanges and dialogues, and the European Union is no exception. Its Article 17 Dialogue with churches, religious, philosophical and non-confessional organisations offers an opportunity for those groups to make their voices heard at EU level. Religious actors have made significant contributions in, for example, migration, deradicalisation, social justice and education for tolerance. However, the role of religion in the human rights arena is sometimes perceived as challenging, since some religious actors and some secular human rights actors may not see eye-to-eye in some areas. Experts therefore suggest that it is important to maintain that all human rights have equal worth, that everyone who may be affected by the issue is included in the dialogue, and to try to find a compromise that will not alienate any party from further cooperation.

Golden visas, EU values, corruption and crime

23-05-2018

Some EU Member States offer citizenship and residence to applicants who bring money into the country by, for example, buying property or investing in a business. These Member State decisions can have an impact on the rest of the EU, especially in the case of citizenship, since holders of a Member State's citizenship automatically acquire EU citizenship as well, and with it, several of its rights and privileges. Parliament and the Commission have already expressed concern over this practice, and Parliament ...

Some EU Member States offer citizenship and residence to applicants who bring money into the country by, for example, buying property or investing in a business. These Member State decisions can have an impact on the rest of the EU, especially in the case of citizenship, since holders of a Member State's citizenship automatically acquire EU citizenship as well, and with it, several of its rights and privileges. Parliament and the Commission have already expressed concern over this practice, and Parliament is scheduled to hold a topical debate during the May II plenary session. A Commission report on the issue is expected in the last quarter of 2018.

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