Women’s Rights and Employment committees quizzed Ms Dalli, Maltese candidate for the equality portfolio, on EU Gender Strategy and the fight against discrimination.
Political groups’ coordinators from both committees will meet within 24 hours to assess the performance of Maltese Commissioner-designate Helena Dalli.
Fighting discrimination, stereotypes and closing the gender pay gap
During her introductory speech, Ms Dalli said that discrimination is ‘‘harming both individuals and society as a whole’’, and that she would fight for a Europe ‘‘free of discrimination’’. If approved, she committed to establish, within three months, a Task Force on Equality to build an intersectional approach on gender mainstreaming in all EU policies. She also promised an EU Gender Equality Strategy, with new measures on issues such as pay transparency, the gender pay gap, violence against women and gender stereotypes.
MEPs welcomed the President-elect’s decision to appoint an Equality Commissioner for the first time. They put forward questions on several files blocked for years in the Council, such as the Women on Boards Directive, the Anti-discrimination Directive or the ratification of the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women. Ms Dalli said that she would do her utmost to unblock these essential files, by meeting with ministers to convince them to move forward.
During the three-hour hearing, MEPs also questioned her on the protection of sexual and reproductive health and rights, the digital gap faced by women, disability, female genital mutilation (FGM), forced marriages, and the rights of LGBTI people, in particular transgender and intersex people.
You can watch the video recording of the full hearing here.
At the end of the hearing, Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee Chair Evelyn Regner (S&D, AT) and Employment and Social Affairs Committee Chair Lucia Ďuriš Nicholsonová (ECR, SK) held a press point outside the meeting room: watch it here.
Based on committees’ recommendations, the Conference of Presidents will decide on 17 October if Parliament has received sufficient information to declare the hearing process closed. If so, the plenary will vote on whether or not to approve the Commission as a whole on 23 October, in Strasbourg.
Members from the associated Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee also participated in the hearing.