The European Women’s Lobby (EWL), WIDE Network, and the Gender Working Group of CONCORD – the European confederation of Relief and Development NGOs, call on European and national policy-makers to integrate a women’s rights and gender equality perspective in the forthcoming decisions about the scope, priorities, and financing of the post-2013 EU multi-annual financial framework (MFF).
A gender-responsive MFF that takes into account the differential impact of budgetary decisions on women and men, allocates sufficient funding for women-specific actions, and encourages gender mainstreaming in all EU financing instruments will make the limited EU budget more effective. It can also help the EU to reach the targets of the Europe 2020 Strategy, to enhance economic growth, and to answer demographic challenges. However, these outcomes require political will to prioritise gender equality in budgetary decisions: EU funding for gender equality is decreasing and predictable and independent budgets for gender equality amount only to 0.37% of EU spending within the 2007-2013 MFF2, and studies show serious gaps in gender mainstreaming in the EU's financing instruments.
Key proposals for a gender sensitive, accountable and participatory post-2013 MFF
1. Make the values and principles expressed in the Treaty of Lisbon, including democracy, fundamental rights, equality between women and men, anti-discrimination, and social justice part of framework of reference for the next MFF;
2. Make in the post-2013 MFF policy priorities of a) sustaining the European Social Model, and b) promoting fundamental rights including women’s rights; make these two priorities visible in budget headings and support them with strong financial instruments and programmes;
3. Provide adequate and predictable funding for women’s rights and gender equality through specific programmes/budget lines under fundamental rights and citizenship (including actions targeting violence against women), employment and social policy, and EU’s external policies and through ensuring that all the EU financing programmes have gender equality targets in their founding regulations and that they allocate specific funding for reaching these targets.
4. Assess the gender impact of the proposed spending priorities, sources of revenue, and governance tools before the MFF is adopted to ensure that the post-2013 MFF is gender sensitive;
5. Include in the MFF a commitment to gender-responsive budgeting to ensure that from 2014 onward gender mainstreaming is part of the EU budgetary process from planning to monitoring and evaluation;
6. Make gender mainstreaming a requirement in the founding regulations of all the EU financing programmes and ensure operationalization in the corresponding strategic documents;
7. Make EU funding more accessible to civil society organisations at national and European levels and in neighbouring and developing countries, both as promoters of EU-funded projects and as recipients of operating grants.
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WIDE - Globalising Gender Equality and Social JusticeSOURCE: WUNRN