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Parliamentary questions
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9 February 2021
Joint answer given by Ms Dalli
on behalf of the European Commission
Question references: E-005297/2020, E-005939/2020, E-006029/2020, P-006345/2020

Sexual and reproductive health and rights are at the core of gender equality. The Commission is aware of the recent developments in Poland and Slovakia, which can profoundly affect women’s health and rights.

The EU Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025(1) presents the Commission’s policy objectives on gender equality. The Commission supports exchanges of good practice on the gendered aspects of health, including sexual and reproductive health and rights. The EU also continues to support women’s human rights globally.

The Commission funds organisations tackling violence against women through the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme(2), and its successor. The proposal for the EU4Health programme(3) includes action to strengthen health services in the Member States, including by supporting reforms, implementing new care models and universal health coverage and addressing health inequalities.

In the area of public health, Union action respects Member States’ responsibility for defining health policies and the organisation and delivery of health services and medical care.

The Union action complements national policies and is directed towards improving public health, preventing physical and mental illness, and obviating major sources of danger to health by means of information, best practice exchange and education.

By doing so, the Commission promotes cooperation between Member States and, if necessary, lends support to their action.

Legislative powers on sexual and reproductive health and rights, including abortion, lie with the Member States.

When making use of their competence, Member States must respect fundamental rights as they are binding on them by virtue of their constitutions and commitments under international law.

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