Brussels, June 6, 2018: At the Brussels launch of the Guttmacher-Lancet Commission on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) report this week, civil society representatives called on the European Union to make a dedicated commitment to SRHR and family planning in the EU’s next multi-annual budget.

Following on from the recommendations in the Guttmacher-Lancet Commission report, the EU must include earmarked funding for SRHR, including family planning, through an explicit SRHR budget line or by designating SRHR as an objective under various budget lines (health, education, youth empowerment, human rights, gender).

EU needs specific commitment for SRHR

Regardless of how SRHR is tackled when it comes to budget lines, the EU should have a specific commitment in terms of funding levels, in order to ensure that SRHR issues consistently taken up every year in the period 2021-2027.

Caroline Hickson, Regional Director at the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) Europe Network, said: “The EU itself has stated that gender equality and SRHR are at the heart of sustainable development. If it is serious about being a global leader for women and girls, it must now secure funding to ensure their reproductive freedom and safety. And yet the Commission’s latest communication on the next EU budget fails to even mention gender equality, which sends a very worrying signal about its commitment.”

“Without empowering women, no hope of achieving SDGs”

Speaking on a high-level panel debate on women and girls’ health at the annual European Development Days conference, Renate Baehr, Executive Director for Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevoelkerung (DSW) said: “Gender equality, family planning, and SRHR are issues at the core of the global development agenda. But without rights for all, we can’t achieve health. Without empowering women to take control of their health, their bodies, and their futures, we have no hope of achieving the goals we have set ourselves for 2030. We welcome the comprehensive definition of SRHR that has been developed by the Guttmacher-Lancet Commission. All actors need to come together to step up their support for, and engagement with, the full SRHR agenda, and that means the EU too – particularly as European decision-makers enter into crucial negotiations on the future EU budget.”

According to the Guttmacher-Lancet Commission report, launched at the European Development Days in Brussels, more than 200 million women want to avoid pregnancy but are not using modern methods of contraception. In addition, more than 45 million women have inadequate or no antenatal care, and more than 30 million women do not deliver their babies in a health facility.

$9 a year to provide contraception for women

Meeting the needs of these women for these services is affordable for most countries. According to the Guttmacher-Lancet Commission report, in low- and middle-income countries, an estimated annual spend of $9 per person would cover the total cost of fully meeting women’s needs for modern contraception and providing the necessary health services for pregnant women and new-born babies as recommended by the WHO.

The European Commission will come forward with its policy and budget proposals for external action (including development policy) on June 14.



Eoghan Walsh

Communications Officer, Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW)

T: +32 (0) 2 504 90 66 | Mob: +32 (0) 485 399 443 |

Cosmina Marian

Communications & Campaigns Advisor, IPPF European Network
Tel: +32 (0) 2 250 09 67 | Mob: +32 (0) 485 339 380

Notes to the Editor

  • The Guttmacher–Lancet Commission on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights consists of 16 commissioners from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, North America, and Latin America, with multidisciplinary expertise and experience in a broad range of SRHR issues. From 2016 to 2018, the Commission held several consultations and synthesised available evidence, with the support of researchers at the Guttmacher Institute (New York, NY, USA), African Population and Health Research Center (Nairobi, Kenya), and other organisations affiliated with some of the commissioners. The advisory group for the Commission, consisting of 23 representatives from SRHR, global health, and funding organisations, also provided feedback on drafts of the report.
  • Countdown2030 Europe is a consortium of 15 leading European non-governmental organizations working to ensure advancement of human rights and investment in family planning. They have produced a brief factsheet on the impact and implications of the EU’s multi-annual budget. You can download it here:
  • Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW) is a global development organisation that focuses on the needs and potential of the largest youth generation in history. We are committed to creating demand for and access to health information, services, supplies, and economic empowerment for youth. We achieve this by engaging in advocacy, capacity development, and reproductive health initiatives, so that young people are empowered to lead healthy and self-determined lives. With our headquarters in Hannover, Germany, DSW operates two liaison offices in Berlin and Brussels, as well as maintaining a strong presence in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. DSW also advocates for investment in research and innovation to fight poverty-related and neglected tropical diseases.
  • The International Planned Parenthood Federation European Network (IPPF EN) champions sexual and reproductive health and rights for all. We are one of the International Planned Parenthood Federation’s six regional networks. IPPF EN works in 40 countries across Europe and Central Asia to empower everyone, especially the most socially excluded, to live with dignity and to have access to sexual and reproductive health and rights.

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