Since the adoption of the Treaty of Amsterdam, equality between women and men and equal opportunities are among the fundamental values of the European Union. Gender equality policy and gender mainstreaming are therefore important components of all EU policy areas.
EU activities in this area primarily aim to strengthen the economic independence of women and men, ensure the possibility of achieving a work-life balance, promote equal participation in economic and political decision-making processes and overcome gender stereotypes. Support for gender equality and equal opportunities also spans EU policy towards third countries and its framework for development cooperation. In the case of accession and candidate countries, this means that they must recognise the principle of gender equality and implement existing European provisions in this area.
As a key principle of EU development cooperation, gender equality is regarded as an important instrument in poverty reduction and promoting economic growth. In order to strengthen women’s rights and reduce legal, political and economic discrimination against women, promoting education and access to resources and health care for women and girls are among the key aims of European development policy.
Equal opportunities and equality between women and men are also important cross-cutting issues in the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung’s national and international activities. They are closely related to issues such as fair globalisation, the development of European economic and social policies, migration etc.
Through its consultation and dialogue activities, the EU Office of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Brussels enables multipliers and specialists from the EU Member States and third countries to deepen their knowledge of EU gender equality policy and exchange experiences directly with European experts.