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Parliamentary questions
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9 March 2021
E-005924/2020(ASW)
Answer given by Ms Dalli
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-005924/2020

The EU is founded on the values of ‘the inviolable and inalienable rights of the human person, freedom, democracy, equality and the rule of law’(1). The Commission defends them, also in these challenging times.

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

Legislative powers on sexual and reproductive health and rights, including abortion, lie with the Member States that are also responsible for the definition of health policy.

Union action may complement it to improve public health by means of information and education to promote cooperation between Member States and lend support to their actions.

In the exercise of their competences, Member States must respect Union law where applicable, and must respect their constitutional fundamental rights obligations and their commitments under international law.

The EU Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025(2) presents the Commission’s policy objectives on gender equality. The Commission supports exchanges of good practices on gendered aspects of health, including sexual and reproductive health and rights, and supports Member States in implementing relevant United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The Commission welcomes the adoption of the regulation on a general regime of conditionality for the protection of the Union budget(3), applicable as of 1 January 2021, establishing the rules necessary for the protection of the Union budget in the case of breaches of the principles of the rule of law in the Member States that affect (or risk affecting) its sound financial management or the protection of the financial interests of the Union .

(1)Preamble to the Treaty on the European Union.
(2)A Union of Equality: Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025, COM/2020/152 final: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52020DC0152 .
(3)OJ L 433I , 22.12.2020, p. 1.
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