FEMM Newsletter March 2016
Note from the Chair
In the light of attacks that took place in Brussels on the 22nd of March, I would like to pay tribute to the victims and express our sympathy to their families. Our thoughts are with you during this terrible time. Due to these tragic events, the FEMM committee meeting which was supposed to take place on the 23rd of March was cancelled. Most items were placed again on this month’s agenda. The FEMM committee will meet on the 18th of April to discuss the fight against trafficking in human beings in the EU external relations, the implementation of the Directive 2011/36/EU and the preparation of the post-electoral revision of the MFF 2014-2020. The next day, on the 19th of April, FEMM members will vote on the adoption of the draft texts on the implementation of the Directive 2011/36/EU and on gender perspective in poverty. Members will also vote on the adoption of draft opinions on the fight against trafficking in human beings in the EU external relations, on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, on workers representation on board level in Europe, as well as on the activities, impact and added value of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund between 2007 and 2014. The same day, participants of the meeting will also consider the draft opinion about the budget of 2017. Finally, Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality will visit the meeting to exchange views and the Dutch Presidency of the Council of the EU is invited to give an update on the latest state of play with regards to the Council’s response to the Commission’s strategic engagement for gender equality and to their list of actions to advance LGBTI equality. . You are kindly invited to follow these meetings through the web-streaming!
Fight against trafficking in human beings in the EU’s external relations
Rapporteur: Catherine Bearder (ALDE)
Catherine Bearder (ALDE) will present her draft opinion on the fight against trafficking in human beings (THB) in the EU’s external relations on the 18th of April. The following day, on the 19th of April, FEMM members will vote on 28 tabled amendments. The draft opinion considers the report of Ms. Barbara Lochbihler (Verts/ALE) from the responsible committee on Foreign Affairs. The rapporteur stresses that due to social and economic reasons girls and women are particularly vulnerable and have a higher risk to become victims of THB. For this reason, the rapporteur encourages the Members States to ensure the rights and well-being of the THB victims, improve the detection of the victims, and to ratify and implement the Istanbul Convention. Finally, the draft opinion also calls on the European Commission to ensure that gender equality remains the core basis of the EU’s development policies and political
Draft report on the implementation of the Directive 2011/36/EU of 5
Rapporteur: Catherine Bearder (ALDE)
On the 18th of April, the consideration of 241 amendments tabled to the Catherine Bearder’s draft report on the Directive 2011/36/EU of 5 April 2011 on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims from a gender perspective (Directive) willtake place. On the 19th of April, participants of the FEMM committee meeting will vote on the adoption of this draft report. The Directive aims to protect the victims of trafficking in human beings and reduce the vulnerability of potential victims. As long as the majority of victims are women and girls (80%), the rapporteur provides an assessment of measures which are already taken by the MSs in order to address the gender dimension of THB in the implementation of the Directive. The rapporteur emphasises the need to better identify victims of the THB, to provide the gender perspective in prevention of THB, as well as in the identification, treatment and protection of THB victims. Finally, the rapporteur gives recommendations for further measures to be implemented and calls on the MSs and Commission to improve the data collection on the issue.
Preparation of the post electoral revision of the MFF 2014 – 2020
Rapporteur: Clare Moody (S&D)
On the 18th of April, Clare Moody will introduce the participants of the FEMM meeting to her draft opinion on the preparation of the
post-electoral revision of the MFF 2014-2020: Parliament’s input ahead of the Commission’s proposal. The Committee members will
take a decision on the deadline for amendments. The draft opinion provides suggestions for the responsible Committee on Budgets
(BUDG) which should be incorporated in BUDG’s motion for a resolution. The rapporteur stresses that more attention should be
given to gender mainstreaming, the combat against violence against women, and the assessment of progress towards gender-related targets within the Europe 2020 strategy. She also emphasises the importance of childcare and elder care services for employment and
gender equality, and calls for the MFF revision to be used to invest in social infrastructure.
Finally, the rapporteur calls for a MFF revision to consider the financial tools directed to the integration of women refugees and asylum-seekers.
Poverty: a gender perspective
Rapporteur: Maria Arena (S&D)
The vote on the adoption of Maria Arena’s (S&D) draft report Poverty: a gender perspective will take place on the 19th of April. Maria Arena stresses that the fight against female poverty is a matter of social justice, however, still many women in the EU either live in poverty or are at risk of poverty. It causes women’s social exclusion and makes them more likely to experience violence, it also has a negative impact on their children. Therefore, the draft report calls for better financing of childcare facilities, for the development of support schemes and social pricing for the most deprived in society, for the particular support to teenage mothers and women who are victims of violence. In addition, the report calls on the Commission to take legislative action to increase women’s participation in the labour market, to promote the employment of women and the integration of marginalised women into the labour market. Also, it stresses the need to develop exchanges of best practice for combating poverty.
Draft opinion on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Rapporteur: Rosa Estaras Ferragut (EPP)
The FEMM Committee will vote on the draft opinion by Rosa Estaras Ferragut (PPE) on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities with special regard to the Concluding Observations of the UN CRPD Committee. The draft opinion will be provided to the responsible Committee on Employment and Social Affairs. In her draft opinion, the rapporteur stresses the issue of violence against women and girls with disabilities and expresses the concern that ill-treatment might also happen in institutional settings. Thus, the rapporteur suggests developing more inclusive communities, providing accessible support services for disabled women and girls who already suffered from violence. She also calls on the EU to become part of the Istanbul Convention and to raise awareness about this Convention. Rosa Estaras Ferragut also calls on the EU institutions and MSs to integrate the perspective of women and girls with disabilities to their policies and strategies on gender equality and to proceed with the EU Anti-discrimination Directive. Finally, she is concerned about rates of unemployment among disabled female workers and calls on the MSs to create legislative and policy initiatives which would increase labour market participation of disabled women.
Workers representation on board level in Europe
Rapporteur: Viorica Dancila (S&D)
On the 19th of April, the FEMM committee members will vote on Viorica Dancila’s (S&D) draft opinion. The draft opinion lays out suggestions to the EMPL’s own-initiative report on workers representation on board level in Europe. The rapporteur highlights the significance of gender equality and diversity in workers’ representation at board level of companies. She notices that incorporating the perspective of gender equality and diversity has positive economic side-effects, e.g. a decrease in the gender pay gap.
For this reason, she calls on Member States to introduce legislative measures that would increase gender balance in worker representation at board level. The rapporteur also suggests introducing the monitoring system that would ensure that companies comply with quota requirements. In addition, she draws attention to the appointing institutions (such as trade unions) which should increase the number of female representatives on their boards. The rapporteur also calls on Commission and the Member States to improve the collection of gender-disaggregated statistics on workers’ representation on board level.
The activities, impact and added value of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund 2017 Budget – Mandate for the Trilogue
Rapporteur: Vilija Blinkeviciute (S&D)
The last vote on the 19th of April will be on Vilija Blinkevičiūtė’s draft opinion on the activities, impact and added value of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund between 2007 and 2014. The rapporteur draws attention to the problem of women re-employment, which is temporal and unstable. She notes that re-employment prevents labour drain and forced mobility, and that the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) can play an important role in addressing this problem. Therefore, Vilija Blinkevičiūtė calls on the Commission and the Council to enhance provisions in the EGF Regulations, and to collect data relevant to the issue. She also calls for the establishment of measures that promote and stimulate female entrepreneurship and leads to a higher rate of self-employment as well as for the introduction of re-employment policies in local communities where massive redundancies occur. The draft opinion will be provided to the responsible Committee on Employment and Social Affairs.
2017 Budget – Mandate for the Trilogue
Rapporteur: Viorica Dancila (S&D)
Viorica Dăncilă will present her draft opinion on the EU budget of 2017 on the 19th of April, 2016. The FEMM committee members will decide on the deadline for amendments. The rapporteur emphasises that budgetary expenditure is not gender-neutral, thus gender budgeting should be implemented and gender equality promoted during all the budgetary process. She also draws attention to the developing migration and refugee crisis and suggests providing assistance for inclusion and monitoring of the situation of women refugees and asylum seekers. In addition, she stresses the significance of funding for good-quality education, entrepreneurship, employability, job creation for women and girls, as well as for the childcare facilities which increase female employment rate. Moreover, highlighting the problem of violence against women, the rapporteur calls on allocation of financial resources for the Daphne project and European Monitoring Centre on Gender Violence (along the lines of EIGE
EIGE: The European journey towards gender equality
One of the major steps taken to advance equality between women and men was the establishment of the European Institute for Gender Equality. The Institute provides policy makers with sound expertise and knowledge to integrate a gender equality perspective in their work. In the lead up to its sixth anniversary, EIGE is producing a documentary film reflecting on the journey so far and considering the importance of gender in Europe – before, now and in the future. The film will be ready in summer 2016. Watch the video trailer here.