(4.5.2018) As the European Commission has released its Communication on the Multiannual Financial Framework (2021-2027), WIDE+, Care, DSW, EWL, IPPF European Network, One, Plan International, Kvinna till Kvinna, World Vision and WAGGS express their concerns that gender equality is not addressed as a key political priority.

They call on the European Parliament and the Member States, in the further elaboration of the future EU budget, to safeguard the promotion and protection of gender equality and women’s and girls’ rights.

The Communication itself makes no reference to gender equality. Its annex makes only two cursory references to gender mainstreaming (including one regarding the new Neighbourhood, International and Development Cooperation Instrument – Heading VI), without giving any more details as to how this should be undertaken under the next MFF. The principles of “prosperity, sustainability and solidarity” should serve as a guide, ensuring that the next MFF is fair and inclusive for all, including women and girls.

If the EU really wants to establish ‘a modern, focused EU budget’, this cannot be done without the sound and comprehensive inclusion of a gender perspective that is key to enable better and more evidence-based decision-making, which in turn contributes to ensuring an effective use of public funds and EU added value in its external action. Notably, a gender responsive budget facilitates the attainment of modern standards of public financial management such as performance orientation, transparency, accountability, and participation.

While acknowledging Europe’s future long-term funding debate comes in at a challenging and complex political environment, the EU also needs to match it with the ambitions and commitments made to achieve all Sustainable Development Goals and ensuring no one is left behind. 

Full NGO statement (pdf)

European Commission: Communication "EU Budget for the future" (2.5.2018)