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Female visions for a better Europe

Emergency Resolution adopted at the EPP Congress, Zagreb (Croatia), 20th – 21st November 2019

– Having regard to the Opening Statement in the European Parliament Plenary Session by Ursula von der Leyen, President Elect of the European Commission (EC), on 16 July 2019;

– acknowledging that at the start of the mandate of the new EC 2019-2024, the world is being challenged by disruptive developments such as climate change, globalisation of the world economy, rapid digitalisation and demographic transformation of our societies due to migration and ageing.

– taking into account that we, as citizens of Europe, are all feeling and experiencing the effects of these first hand and that it is now clear to each of us that we must take action;

– aiming that these visions are also taken into account in the EU neighbourhood and EU pre-accession policies;

– having regard to the discussions held at the EPP Women Summer Academy on ‘Female visions for a better Europe’ on 21 and 22 June 2019 in Tallinn;

The EPP calls on the top priorities to be addressed in 2019-2024:   

 Towards a sustainable continent and planet

  1. Whereas the effects of climate change and biodiversity loss are becoming more and more tangible in our daily lives and are happening faster than predicted;
  2. Whereas the European Year of Cultural Heritage of 2018 aimed at reinforcing a sense of belonging to a common European space and to encourage people to engage with Europe’s cultural heritage;
  3. Whereas the EU can fully thrive only within a stable and prosperous neighbourhood in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);
  4. Conscious that the EU is a leader in setting environment policy;
  5. Highly welcomes the Green Deal for Europe, the first ever European Climate Law which will set the 2050 targets into law;
  6. Welcomes the release of the European Framework for Action on Cultural Heritage consisting of actions that seek to promote and protect Europe’s cultural heritage;
  7. Calls upon the EC to foster the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in Europe, but also in the Middle East and Africa, where priority is given to water and food security, balanced population growth, quality education with special focus on educating girls, and the creation of opportunities for the youth;
  8. Urges the EU to continue its leadership role in developing a circular economy and sustainable production and consumption patterns;

Towards EU gender equality policies and strengthening women’s position in economy and society

  1. Whereas equality of women and men is a vital aspect of all policy areas at both national and European level;
  2. Whereas the pay gap between women and men still exists, at European level at a yearly average of 16%;
  3. Whereas families are the cornerstone of our society which requires that there is a balance between employment life and private life and whereas women entering employment life make it possible for the family income to increase and to contribute to Europe’s economic growth;
  4. Whereas gender based violence against women, children as well as men cannot be tolerated and must be addressed in all its forms of abuse, including on digital platforms;
  5. Whereas women remain underrepresented in positions of power in all 28 EU Member States;
  6. Calls upon the EC for a full realization of the dual approach combining gender mainstreaming and specific actions. A gender perspective must be integrated in all key processes concerning all EU 2019-2024 policies, including programmes and funding. In addition, a high-level and stand-alone EU Gender Equality Strategy needs to be developed and implemented. Such a strategy is necessary for ensuring effective long-term planning and for concentrating efforts on common priorities;
  7. Calls upon the EC to allocate at least 2,0% of the European Structural and Investment Funds to be invested in improving gender equality in the EU;
  8. Asks the EC to evaluate the implementation of the EU Action Plan 2017-2019 on the pay gap, and make further proposals and improvements to tackle pay discrimination across the EU;
  9. Calls upon the EC to closely monitor the implementation of the EU Directive on Work-life Balance for parents and carers in the Member States, which aims to increase the participation of women in the labour market and the take-up of family-related leave and flexible working arrangements for both men and women;
  10. Asks the EC to introduce a European Day of Work-Life Balance, which is set on the date of 20 March each year, symbolically reflecting the spring day-night equality.
  11. Urges the EC to ratify the Istanbul Convention, to add sexual violence to the list of EU crimes defined in the Treaty of Lisbon and to establish an EU-network on fighting sexual violence;
  12. Calls upon the EC to evaluate the policies proposed in the Directive on Women on Boards and develop a next level program which effectively addresses the issue of women in economic and political decision making positions.
  13. Towards an inclusive digital society and economy

  14. Whereas several innovative strategies fostering women in our digital economic sectors recently have been initiated by the EC 2014-2019;
  15. Whereas the digital economy has an increasing effect on society, not only in the economy, the public sphere (in particular the democratic functioning of our societies) and also in our personal lives and our relations to other people;
  16. Whereas, therefore, all European citizens have to be taken on board, disregarding age, sex, ethnic background or place of residence;
  17. Whereas women’s access to the ICT sector is essential for the competitiveness of the European economy, and whereas the potential impact of gender biases in technology deprives the EU from talent, resources and wealth but is also a threat to innovation;
  18. Calls upon the EC to invest massively in digital education and skills on all levels, in particular by including computational thinking in basic education; calls upon the EC to integrate digital education in the Erasmus + program;
  19. Calls upon the EC to allocate at least 25 % of the EC Social Funds to tackle social exclusion, in particular focussing on elderly, migrants, and low income families;
  20. Urges the EC to put a clear focus on women in the digital sector as a key priority for action within the next Multiannual Financial Framework, aimed at fully including women in the digital transformation of our economy and our society;

    Towards integration and diversity of our societies and economy
  21. Whereas migrant women are often victims of double discrimination: as migrants in the host country, and as women within their community of origin;
  22. Whereas integration of migrants, as well as refugees, in European societies is essential as a way to share and promote our values within communities of refugees and migrants of different cultural origin, and to meet the needs of our European labour markets arising from demographic decline;
  23. Whereas 39% of rural women work on family farms there is no legal recognition of the status of assisting spouses in several EU countries, and whereas only 30% of farm managers and owners are women;
  24. Urges the EC to develop a follow-up to the European Pillar of Social Rights;
  25. Asks the EC to encourage the Member States to ensure access to education to all refugee and migrant children present in the EU independently from the status of their parents;
  26. Advocates higher priority be given for vocational training in the Erasmus + and Employment Programs to address the shortage of skilled employees in the craft industry and services sector;
  27. Calls for more investment in culture, because this is the area in which the soul of Europe is expressed and we recognize our shared existence;
  28. Calls on the EC and the Member States to make funding and other resources available for civil society, women’s and human rights organisations that provide assistance, promote inclusion, and perform gender awareness raising programs among migrants;
  29. Calls upon the EC and the Member States to empower women in rural areas, in particular by supporting entrepreneurial initiatives and access to credit, and to provide adequate common goods, e.g. fast internet, to create living conditions in rural areas that match those in urban areas.

Urges the EPP member parties and the EPPW national organizations to advocate within their national governments, parliamentary groups and political parties for the realization of the above listed top priorities for a better Europe.