Gender Action PlanDSW welcomes the adoption today by Development Ministers of strong conclusions on the EU’s new Gender Action Plan 2016-2020.

Meeting in Luxembourg, EU Development Ministers today endorsed the new Gender Action plan, which was published as a joint Staff Working Document by the European Commission and the European External Action Service in September 2015.

Cecile Vernant, Head of EU Advocacy for DSW in Brussels said: “It is crucial to recognise the necessity to invest in both targeted action to foster gender equality and mainstreaming women’s and girls’ rights and empowerment in all of the EU’s policies. We therefore welcome the decision made at the Development Ministers meeting today on the EU’s new Gender Action Plan – adding political dialogue as a third element of the three-pronged approach.”

Download the Council Conlusions here:

DSW welcomes the strong emphasis put on “a more coherent, efficient and effective implementation” and “strategic and efficient monitoring, evaluation, reporting” of the EU’s gender work under the new Plan.

DSW’s Cecile Vernant further noted that “it was important to see that the Council commits to ensuring consultation and engagement with civil society throughout the full cycle of planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the GAP. The new Action Plan is an advance on what has been done before, however the EU institutions will need to give sustained support to EU services in Brussels and around the world including sufficient financial and human resources as requested by the Council to make sure that it is truly effective.”

Following European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s target of “better regulation” the European Commission and the European External Action Service published a Joint Staff Working Document – not an official Commission communication as requested by civil society, MEPs and Member States – on “Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: Transforming the Lives of Girls and Women through EU External Relations 2016-2020” on September 22nd. Today, EU Development Ministers at the Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg endorsed Annex 1 of the Plan, which lays out objectives, example activities and potential indicators for each of the three thematic priorities (physical and psychological integrity, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and empowerment, and Political and civil rights), as well as for the aspired institutional culture shift in the European Union external relations.