July this year, the German Federal Minister for Women's Affairs, Dr
Franziska Giffey, together with her Portuguese counterpart, Mariana
Vieira da Silva, and her Slovenian counterpart, Janez Cigler Kralj,
signed the declaration for more gender equality in Europe.
In this declaration, the three Member States commit themselves to
work closely together in the field of gender equality. Among other
things, they pursue the goal of mitigating the negative consequences of
the COVID-19 pandemic for women. In addition, the EU-wide support system
for women affected by violence is to be expanded. They also advocate
reducing the gender pay gap in Europe and changing gender stereotypes
and role models.
Germany, Portugal and Slovenia form the current trio presidency from
July 2020 to summer 2021. With the joint programme they focus on
important, common concerns.
EU Commission’s Strategy for Gender Equality 2020-2025
The gender pay gap is an important aspect of the EU Commission's
Strategy for Gender Equality 2020-2025 (see News April 2020). The
European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has now called for the EU
Commission to update its five-year strategy for equality and implement
it without delay in order to prevent the pandemic from increasing
inequality between women and men.
The EESC is an advisory body that provides a formal platform for
representatives of Europe's economic and social groups and others to
express their views on EU issues. Its opinions are addressed to the
Council, the European Commission and the European Parliament.
"With COVID-19, women are increasingly threatened by violence,
poverty, multiple forms of discrimination and economic dependence. The
strategy should be implemented without delay in order to prevent women
from continuing to pay the price of the pandemic," said Giulia Barbucci,
who prepared the EESC statement.
The crisis has once again highlighted the gender pay gap, which in
some cases is blatant. The EESC therefore welcomes the Commission's
announcement to introduce binding measures on the transparency of gender
pay as early as this year.
Another persistent shortcoming is the unequal participation of men
and women in decision-making. The EESC therefore calls for continued
discussion of the directive on improving gender equality on company
The Trio Presidency can take this forward
The directive was already presented by the Commission in 2012, but
has not yet been adopted by the Council; including Germany. In
presenting the programme of the German Council Presidency to the
European Parliament at the beginning of July, Minister Giffey now
declared that the adoption of the directive should be pushed forward in