FEMM Newsletter March 2016
Note from the Chair
The next FEMM meeting is planned just before the Easter break, on the 22nd of March: it will be a joint hearing with the Committee of Employment and Social Affairs on the labour market conditions favourable for work-life balance. Six guest experts will present their positions on the topic during the two expert panels, followed by a discussion with the committees’ members. In addition, on the 23rd of March, the Members of the FEMM Committee will meet again to vote on Viorica’s Dăncilă’s draft opinion on workers representation on board level in Europe and on the gender mainstreaming amendments to the ECON report on Access to finance for SMEs and increasing the diversity of SME funding in a Capital market Union. During the meeting, the committee will also discuss Catherine’s Bearder’s draft opinion on the fight against trafficking in human beings in the EU’s external relations, and the amendments to Ms. Bearder’s draft report on the implementation of Directive 2011/36/EU of 5 April 2011 on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims from a gender perspective. We kindly invite you to follow our meetings through the web-streaming!
Debrief: FEMM Committee meeting ont the 15th of March, 2016
The FEMM Committee of 15 March meeting started with the exchange of views on the EU budget of 2017 and FEMM’s budgetary priorities. It was attended by Jens Geier (S&D), the rapporteur for the BUDG committee. The meeting proceeded with Ms. Vilija Blinkevičiūtė’s presentation of the draft opinion on the activities, impact and added value of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund between 2007 and 2014.
The meeting continued with voting: Ms. Michaela Šojdrová’s (PPE) opinion on the application of the Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000 establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation was adopted. It was followed by the votes on several sets of gender mainstreaming, on the Zika virus outbreak (ENVI), on combating terrorism and replacing the Council Framework Decision 2002/475/JHA on combating terrorism (LIBE) and on refugees’ social inclusion and integration into the labour market (EMPL).
Finally, Rosa Estarás Ferragut’s (EPP) draft opinion on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities with special regard to the Concluding Observations of the UN CRPD Committee was discussed. The meeting concluded with the presentation of the visiting delegation from the Parliament of Moldova and the exchange of views on women’s rights in Moldova and the enhancement of the role of women in politics. Documents and the agenda of the meeting can be found here.
Public hearing: Creating Labour Market Conditions Favourable for Work – Life
On the 22nd of March, from 10.00 to 12.30, a joint hearing with the Committee of Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) on the creation of the favourable conditions for work-life balance will take place in the József Antall building, room 4Q1. In order to provide an input to the Commission’s Roadmap and to establish Parliament’s position on work-life balance policies, the two Committees will jointly draft an own initiative report ‘Creating Labour Market Conditions Favourable for Work-Life Balance’. After the opening of the hearing and an introduction to the topic by the co-rapporteurs, two expert panels will follow. During the first panel, the floor will be given to Ms. Greet Vermeylen from the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, prof. Domenico De Masi from the La Sapienza University (Italy) and Ms. Paola Panzeri from the Confederation of family organizations in the EU. The second expert panel will be led by Ms. Serenella Molendini, an expert and counsellor on work and gender policies, and Ms. Piroska Szalai, Hungarian ministerial advisor of increasing female employment. The programme can be found here and registration form can be accessed here.
Draft opinion on the workers representation on board level in Europe
The FEMM committee members will vote on Viorica Dăncilă’s (S&D) draft opinion to the EMPL’s own-initiative report on workers representation on board level in Europe. The rapporteur emphasizes gender equality and diversity in workers’ representation at board level of companies as a key democratic principle with positive economic side-effects such as inclusive strategic decision making and a decrease in the gender pay gap. Viorica Dăncilă calls on Member States to introduce legislative measures that would increase gender balance in worker representation at board level, and the monitoring system which would ensure the compliance with quota requirements. Also, the rapporteur addresses the appointing institutions (e.g., trade unions) and invites them to increase the number of female representatives on their boards, while the Commission and the Member States are called on to further improve their capacity of collecting gender-segregated statistics about workers’ representation on board level. Until the 10th of February, 61 amendments to the draft opinion were received, which will be voted, together with 7 compromise amendments, on the 23rd of March.
Draft opinion on the fight against trafficking in human beings in the EU’s external relations
On the 23rd of March, the draft opinion of Ms. Catherine Bearder (ALDE) on the fight against trafficking in human beings in the EU’s external relations will be discussed by the FEMM committee members. The rapporteur stresses the importance of the gender dimension in trafficking in human beings (THB): THB is described as a grave violation of human rights and a gender crime caused by economic and social inequalities and violence against women. The draft opinion calls on the European Commission to ensure that gender equality remains the core basis of the EU’s development policies and political dialogue. The draft opinion draws attention to the rights and well-being of victims of the THB: the rapporteur encourages improving the detection of the victims, ensuring access to gender-sensitive services (especially in healthcare) for the THB victims and providing gender-specific trainings for the staff working on the identification of, and assistance to, THB victims. Finally, the draft opinion calls on the Member States to ratify and implement the Istanbul Convention.
Implementation of the Directive 2011/36/EU of 5 April 2011 on the preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims from the genter perspective
Rapporteur: Ms. Catherine Bearder (ALDE)
The FEMM committee members will consider 241 amendments tabled to the Catherine’s Bearder’s draft report on the Directive 2011/36/EU of 5 April 2011. In her draft opinion, Ms. Bearder assesses the measures taken to address the gender dimension of trafficking in human beings in the implementation of the Directive 2011/36/EU. The rapporteur suggests an integration of the gender perspective in prevention of the THB, as well as in the identification, assistance, support and protection of THB victims, most of whom are women. Finally, the rapporteur also lays out recommendations for further policy changes and for additional measures to be taken.