Procedure : 2008/2198(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A6-0225/2009

Texts tabled :

A6-0225/2009

Debates :

Votes :

PV 07/05/2009 - 9.1
CRE 07/05/2009 - 9.1
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P6_TA(2009)0372

REPORT     
PDF 165kWORD 93k
3 April 2009
PE 420.027v02-00 A6-0225/2009

on gender mainstreaming in EU external relations and peace-building/nation-building

(2008/2198(INI))

Committee on Foreign Affairs

Rapporteur: Libor Rouček

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
 OPINION of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality
 RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

on gender mainstreaming in EU external relations and peace-building/nation-building

(2008/2198(INI))

The European Parliament,

–    having regard to the principles laid down in Articles 2, 3(2), 13, 137(1)(i) and 141 of the EC Treaty,

–    having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union proclaimed on 7 December 2000,(1)

–    having regard to the Lisbon Treaty(2), signed on 13 December 2007 in Lisbon,

–    having regard to the United Nations Convention of 18 December 1979 on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW),

–    having regard to the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing in September 1995, the Declaration and Platform for Action adopted in Beijing and the subsequent outcome documents adopted at the United Nations Beijing +5 and Beijing +10 Special Sessions on further actions and initiatives to implement the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, adopted on 9 June 2000 and 11 March 2005 respectively,

–    having regard to the EU Agenda for Action on Millennium Development Goals, adopted by the Council on 18 June 2008,

–    having regard to United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1325 (2000), adopted on 31 October 2000, and1820 (2008), adopted on 19 June 2008, on women and peace and security,

–    having regard to the Conclusions of the General Affairs and External Relations Council of 23 and 24 May 2005 on European Security,

–    having regard to the Council document of 8 December 2008 entitled “Implementation of UNSCR 1325 as reinforced by UNSCR 1820 in the context of ESDP”,

–    having regard to the Council Conclusions of 13 November 2006 on promoting gender equality and gender mainstreaming in crisis management(3),

–    having regard to the Council Conclusions of 8 December 2008 on combating violence against women, particularly in the ESDP framework, and all forms of discrimination against them,

–    having regard to the “Comprehensive approach to the EU implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1820 on women, peace and security” of 8 December 2008,

–    having regard to the ongoing work on a Commission Staff Working Paper entitled “Towards an EU Action Plan on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment in EU External Action”,

–    having regard to the development of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) since 2004, and in particular the Commission's progress reports on its implementation, and to the action plans adopted jointly with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Moldova, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority, Tunisia and Ukraine,

–    having regard to the enlargement process and to the Commission's progress reports,

–    having regard to its previous resolutions on women's empowerment in international and development policy and their role in security and peace, in particular that of 1 June 2006(4), that of 16 November 2006(5) and that of 13 March 2008(6),

–    having regard to its resolutions on the ENP, on the EU's enlargement strategy and on the neighbouring countries and regions of the EU,

–    having regard to its resolutions on external assistance instruments,

–    having regard to its resolution of 18 December 2008 on development perspectives for peace-building and nation building in post-conflict situations(7),

–    having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

–    having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (A6-0225/2009),

A.  whereas the realisation of women's human rights, women's empowerment and agency is not only important for addressing gender inequality and implementing a true gender dimension in the EU's external relations but essential to the successful implementation of the EU's external policies, including in the areas of aid, development, enlargement, neighbourhood policy, conflict resolution, security and peace-building and international trade,

B.   whereas although the EU Member States are party to all major international frameworks on gender equality and women's rights, and although a number of policy documents exist at the EU level, the practical commitment to furthering gender mainstreaming and women's empowerment in external policies is still weak, the implementation of the existing policy documents is modest and the budgetary resources earmarked specifically for gender issues are insufficient,

C.  whereas despite considerable improvements in the promotion of gender equality over the recent years, the main EU institutions – that is to say, the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission – do not have enough staff appointed specifically to implement the declared gender objectives in the areas of external policy and enlargement, and most of the existing staff responsible for gender issues have to combine that activity with at least one, and sometimes two, other sets of duties,

D.  whereas the EU needs a holistic and coherent approach to gender mainstreaming,

General remarks

1.  Recognises that the EU institutions have attached increasing importance to gender mainstreaming and women's empowerment but underlines that much remains to be done to put the political commitments into practice, and stresses the importance of adequate funding and of staff responsible for implementing gender objectives;

2.   Recalls that gender mainstreaming requires not only high-level policy statements but also the political will of the EU and the Member States' leadership, prioritisation of objectives and monitoring of the progress made;

3.   Welcomes the adoption of a "Comprehensive approach to the EU implementation of the UNSCR 1325 (2000) and 1820 (2008) on women, peace and security", as well as guidelines on violence against women and girls and combating all forms of discrimination against them; calls on those Member States which have not yet adopted their national action plans on UNSCR 1325 to comply as a matter of urgency with the request by the Security Council that the States do so; invites the Commission to provide technical assistance and aid to third countries willing to develop national strategies for the implementation of the above-mentioned Security Council resolutions;

4.   Is pleased that the revised text of the European Security Strategy includes a reference to the above-mentioned Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1820, as well as Resolution 1612(2005);

5.  Calls on the Commission to speed up its work and to propose by July 2009, in close cooperation with the Member States and the Council Secretariat, an "EU Action Plan on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment in EU External Action", to be applied in the 27 Member States and in negotiations with third countries, together with a set of effective monitoring instruments ;

6.  Calls on the Commission and the Council to systematically include gender equality and women's empowerment in the EU's political dialogue and policy discussions with partner countries;

7.   Asks Parliament's delegations to address the issues related to gender equality and women's empowerment in its relations with third-country parliaments; underlines the importance of providing support and assistance to national parliaments of third countries, with a view to strengthening their capacity to introduce the gender perspective into their legislative work;

8.   Underlines the importance of civil society organisations in women's empowerment; calls on the Commission to channel adequate financial support to them and to promote the participation of women´s NGOs in political dialogue processes with partner countries, as well as in peace negotiations around the world;

9.   Calls on the Commission and the Member States to promote coherence in their policy approach; asks that the existing diverse policy frameworks be collated into an EU Consensus on Gender, covering both internal and external policies;

10. Encourages the regular holding of conferences to debate issues relating to equal opportunities for women and men, with the participation of delegations at the national parliament level, made up of both women and men, together with the establishment of common strategies to implement projects relating to this topic;

11. Asks the Commission to address and prioritise, in a more consistent and systematic manner, gender inequalities in the programming and implementation of the external assistance instruments, in particular as regards the provision of assistance for the reform of the security sector; insists that gender-specific objectives, activities and funding must be included in country strategy papers and that mainstreaming of gender issues through those strategy papers must be improved; underlines the need for a holistic approach in the use of external assistance instruments, including the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance, the European Neighbourhood Policy Instrument, the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights, the Instrument for Stability and thematic programmes such as "Investing in People", in order optimally to achieve the goals of gender equality and women's empowerment;

12. Considers that the resources allocated to the health sector, and consequently to girls' and women's health, are insufficient in view of the EU's development policy commitments; underlines the need to earmark further financial resources under the external assistance instruments for women's health programmes; points out that, according to the Court of Auditors' Special Report on EC Development Assistance to Health Services in sub-Saharan Africa (January 2009), allocations to the health sector to that region have not increased since 2000 as a proportion of total EC assistance for health, while the MDG 2007 Progress Chart still identifies very high levels of maternal mortality there;

13. Points out that effective gender mainstreaming requires enhanced coordination between donors and actors, accountability mechanisms and increased ownership of the development process by national governments; highlights in this regard the added value of the EC/UN Partnership on Gender Equality for Development and Peace, and of gender-responsive budgeting initiatives; welcomes the setting-up of a task force on women, peace and security as provided for in the comprehensive approach to the EU implementation of Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1820;

14. Reiterates the need to focus not only on women but also on gender relations between men and women that generate and perpetuate gender inequalities; believes that, as a consequence, projects should take into consideration both men and women;

15. Stresses that the EU should pay special attention to the needs of the most vulnerable and socially excluded women, in particular disabled women, refugees and women from minority groups;

16. Calls on the Commission to further develop procedures, benchmarks and indicators in order to ensure that it fulfils its commitments with regard to gender equality in its external policy;

17. Considers that the Institute on Gender Equality should become operational as soon as possible and that its mandate should be extended to external policies;

18. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to implement the Brussels Call for Action to Address Sexual Violence in Conflict and Beyond;

19. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to take action to prevent and combat trafficking in human beings;

20. Underlines that rape and sexual violence are used as a weapon of war; stresses that they should be punished as war crimes and crimes against humanity; calls for more support programmes for victims;

21. Underlines the need to capitalise on the EU's partnership with the United Nations, drawing on the latter's global expertise in advancing gender equality and empowerment of women, with a view to enhancing the effectiveness and impact of EU policies and aid, and to ensure coherence of external support for partner countries to help them fulfil their relevant obligations;

Gender mainstreaming in the EU's decision-making

22. Considers that the number of personnel currently working on gender issues within the Commission and the Council is inadequate; calls on those institutions to allocate more staff to the structures in charge of the EU's external action with specific responsibility for gender mainstreaming and women's empowerment;

23. Notes the continued lack of women in high-level posts within the Commission and the Council, and calls, in particular, for greater efforts to boost the number of women among the heads of EU delegations and the EU Special Representatives; stresses that the future External Action Service should have a better balance of men and women, particularly as regards high-level posts, and that it should include more staff responsible for gender issues;

24. Calls on the Member States to include more women in ESDP missions and operations, and asks that the participation of women at all levels and in all phases of the planning and implementation be increased; underlines the need to include gender expertise from the very start of the planning of a mission or operation, as well as the importance of systematic and substantial gender training prior to the deployment of staff in missions and operations;

25. Notes that a great deal of effort is currently being made to mainstream a gender-sensitive approach into the culture of the ESDP, inter alia by developing the quantitative dimension of gender mainstreaming within that policy (e.g. through questionnaires, the development of check-lists, counting the number of men and women in ESDP operations, etc); however, stresses the need to develop the qualitative conceptual framework required in order to understand the socio-economic context in which ESDP missions are deployed (i.e. areas of conflict) and gender-sensitive concerns in the implementation of operations and programmes;

26. Welcomes the appointment of a gender adviser to nearly all ESDP missions, in line with the above-mentioned Council conclusions of November 2006; nevertheless emphasises that the work of such gender advisers may be undermined by the lack of a concrete EU gender policy – in particular, a lack of gender awareness and/or an unwillingness to consider its importance – and the lack of gender-specific budget lines in the financing of ESDP missions;

27. Commends the initiatives to provide gender-related training to staff deployed on ESDP missions and in the corresponding headquarters, and the considerable effort made by the Commission to train its staff, particularly within delegations; reiterates that all staff at every level of the planning, programming and implementation of the EU's external policies should be adequately trained; asks the Commission and the Member States to ensure that compulsory training is provided for all staff in missions and delegations, including the management, and that they are given guidance on gender issues and women's empowerment;

28. Is convinced that ESDP mission planning should take account of the inclusion of local women's organisations in the peace process, so as to build on the specific contribution which they can make and to recognise the particular ways in which women are affected by conflicts;

29. Stresses that, currently, quotas are an indispensable means of ensuring gender equality in peace and security missions and in decision-making in national and international reconstruction processes, and of guaranteeing the political presence of women at the negotiating table;

30. Underlines the importance of gender-sensitive budgeting; points out that gender should be developed as a thematic issue in major external assistance instruments, that special appropriations should be earmarked for gender issues and that benchmarks should be defined in order to measure how efficiently the funds provided are being used;

31. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

(1)

OJ C 364, 18.12.2000.

(2)

OJ C 306, 17.12.2007.

(3)

www.consilium.europa.eu/ueDocs/cms_Data/docs/pressData/en/gena/91617.pdf.

(4)

OJ C 298 E, 8.12.2006, p. 287.

(5)

OJ C 314 E, 21.12.2006, p. 347.

(6)

Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0103.

(7)

Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0639.


OPINION of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (20.2.2009)

for the Committee on Foreign Affairs

on Gender mainstreaming in EU external relations and peace-building / nation-building

(2008/2198(INI))

Rapporteur: Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality calls on the Committee on Foreign Affairs, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.   Recalls that gender mainstreaming requires not only high-level policy statements but also the political will of the EU and the Member States' leadership, prioritisation of objectives and monitoring of the progress made;

2.   Notes that much effort is under way to mainstream a gender-sensitive approach into the policies of external relations and the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP), including through developing the quantitative dimension of gender mainstreaming (such as through questionnaires, check-lists, counting the number of men and women ); stresses, however, the need to develop also its qualitative dimension, by focusing on the socio-economic context in which ESDP missions are deployed and on how a gender perspective can actively contribute to the effectiveness and success of EU policies and missions;

3.   Calls on the Council to appoint a European Envoy for Women’s Rights who would strengthen the EU’s commitment to the empowerment of women in foreign and development policy;

4.   Is pleased that the revised text of the European Security Strategy includes a reference to the United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR) 1325(2000), UNSCR 1820(2008) and UNSCR 1612(2005), and that the Council of the EU approved a comprehensive approach to the EU implementation of the UNSCR 1325 (2000) and 1820(2008) on women, peace and security, as well as guidelines on violence against women and girls and combating all forms of discrimination against them;

5.   Welcomes the appointment of a gender adviser to nearly all ESDP missions, in line with the November 2006 Council conclusions(1); nevertheless underscores that their work may be undermined by lack of a concrete EU gender policy – particularly a lack of gender awareness and/or an unwillingness to consider its importance - and the lack of gender-specific budget lines in the financing of ESDP missions; calls for the provision of adequate financial resources and of full-time staff allocated and points out that gender issues should be represented on all command levels, both in Brussels and in the theatre of operations;

6.   Stresses that rape and sexual violence are used as a weapon of war; stresses that they should be punished as war crimes and crimes against humanity; calls for more support programmes for victims;

7.    Calls on the Commission to continue urging partner countries and EU Member States to develop and implement national action plans on UNSCR 1325 (2000); stresses that these action plans should be adequately resourced, include monitoring and accountability mechanisms, benchmarks and timelines for assessing progress;

8.   Notes that women currently hold only two out of the 16 positions of EU Representatives and Envoys appointed by the SG/HR Javier Solana; recalls the Council’s commitment to improve the gender balance in ESDP operations, including at the senior management level, and calls on the Member States to nominate more female candidates for upcoming Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP)/ESDP assignments, especially for the posts of EU Special Representative and Head of Mission;

9.   Highlights the importance of lessons learned from EU missions, namely that the gender perspective needs to be integrated into the operations already at the fact-finding phase and to be presented in a clear, concrete and practical way; considers that gender training should be established prior to the staff deployment and that gender focal points should be selected and appointed as early as possible on the basis of specific criteria; further highlights the importance of periodic reporting on gender issues, so as to monitor the progress of the missions on integrating a gender perspective and assess the gender situation in the area of operations;

10. Is satisfied that gender equality and women’s rights are systematically referred to in Country and Regional Strategy Papers and in National Indicative Programmes but, at the same time, regrets that gender is often mentioned as a cross-cutting issue, without any indication of specific actions, defined goals and timelines or allocated budgets; points out the need to incorporate in the programming a comprehensive approach for women in conflict areas and peace-building and invites the Commission to mainstream the gender dimension within sectoral areas of its development cooperation assistance, such as justice, governance, health and education; calls strongly for gender-specific activities and targets to be included in future strategies;

11. Recalls the importance of mainstreaming gender considerations into conflict prevention, peacekeeping operations and post-conflict reconstruction, as well as into the neighbourhood and development cooperation policies, in order to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women, as a key means of improving human rights and combating poverty;

12. Is convinced that ESDP mission planning should take into account the inclusion of local women’s organisations in the peace process, to build on the specific contribution which they can make and to recognise the particular ways in which women are affected by conflict;

13. Notes that all financial instruments concerning the EU’s external relations, enlargement and development policies include a cross-cutting reference to gender equality and women's rights, although the financial and human resources allocated do not appear to be adequate; invites the Commission to consolidate gender budgeting in these policy areas, to earmark funding for gender issues within a reasonable timescale and to develop indicators and benchmarks that would help to measure results;

14. Considers the Commission’s resources allocated to the health sector, and consequently to girls’ and women’s health, insufficient in view of its development policy commitments; points out that, according to the European Court of Auditors’ Special Report on EC Development Assistance to Health Services in sub-Saharan Africa (January 2009), allocations to the health sector in Sub-Saharan Africa have not increased since 2000 as a proportion of total EC development assistance for health, while the MDG 2007 Progress Chart still identifies very high level of maternal mortality in sub-Saharan Africa; calls on the Commission to substantially increase investment in the health sector and, in particular, in MDG5 and in sexual and reproductive health;

15. Points out that effective gender mainstreaming requires enhanced coordination between donors and actors, accountability mechanisms and increased ownership of the development process by national governments; highlights in this regard the added value of the EC/UN Partnership on Gender Equality for Development and Peace, and of Gender Responsive Budgeting Initiatives; welcomes the setting-up of a Task Force on women, peace and security provided for in the comprehensive approach to the EU implementation of UNSCRs 1325 and 1820;

16. Is concerned about how the Commission intends to fulfil its commitment to allocate 20 % of EC aid to basic health and education; stresses the importance of education for girls and gender education for girls and boys, and therefore calls for increased support for gender education in EC aid programmes.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

10.2.2009

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

24

1

1

Members present for the final vote

Edit Bauer, Hiltrud Breyer, Edite Estrela, Ilda Figueiredo, Věra Flasarová, Claire Gibault, Lissy Gröner, Anneli Jäätteenmäki, Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, Urszula Krupa, Roselyne Lefrançois, Pia Elda Locatelli, Astrid Lulling, Siiri Oviir, Doris Pack, Marie Panayotopoulos-Cassiotou, Zita Pleštinská, Anni Podimata, Christa Prets, Teresa Riera Madurell, Eva-Riitta Siitonen, Eva-Britt Svensson, Britta Thomsen, Corien Wortmann-Kool, Anna Záborská

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Gabriela Creţu, Ana Maria Gomes, Donata Gottardi, Elisabeth Jeggle, Maria Petre

(1)

Conclusions of the General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC) of the Council of the European Union – Secretariat document (14884/1/06 Rev1) on promoting gender equality and gender mainstreaming in crisis management. www.consilium.europa.eu/ueDocs/cms_Data/docs/pressData/en/gena/91617.pdf


RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

31.3.2009

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

37

2

4

Members present for the final vote

Sir Robert Atkins, Angelika Beer, Călin Cătălin Chiriţă, Véronique De Keyser, Jas Gawronski, Maciej Marian Giertych, Ana Maria Gomes, Anna Ibrisagic, Jelko Kacin, Helmut Kuhne, Vytautas Landsbergis, Johannes Lebech, Willy Meyer Pleite, Francisco José Millán Mon, Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, Raimon Obiols i Germà, Justas Vincas Paleckis, Ioan Mircea Paşcu, Béatrice Patrie, Alojz Peterle, Tobias Pflüger, João de Deus Pinheiro, Pierre Pribetich, Libor Rouček, Flaviu Călin Rus, Katrin Saks, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, Hannes Swoboda, Konrad Szymański, Inese Vaidere, Geoffrey Van Orden, Andrzej Wielowieyski, Jan Marinus Wiersma, Zbigniew Zaleski, Josef Zieleniec

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Laima Liucija Andrikienė, Milan Horáček, Gisela Kallenbach, Tunne Kelam, Jules Maaten, Nickolay Mladenov, Rihards Pīks

Substitute(s) under Rule 178(2) present for the final vote

Brigitte Fouré

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