EU-CIS Gender Watch Reports Launch
Corin Andre (DG EuropeAID) and Anna-Carin Krokstade (DG Relex)
Photo by Malgorzata Zuk
Many events accompanied the Launch of the EU-CIS Gender Watch Reports in June 23-24, 2008 in Brussels. NGOs Strategy meeting, Press Conference, bilateral meetings and un-official talks. This kind of actions enable women's issues to be placed among priorities in the EU Development Agenda in the future.
In June 23 all big development networks and organizations were invited by NEWW-Poland to the NGO Strategy meeting. Venue was organized with a help of Eurostep and EEPA, in Rue Stevin 115, Brussels.The participants were representing: Women's Information Centre (Georgia), Women in Development Europe (Belgium), CONCORD Secretariat (Belgium), Liberal Society Institute (Ukraine), International Gender Policy Network (Czech Republic), Eurostep (Belgium), ActionAid International, European External Policy Advisors (Belgium), EuroNGOs, Bulgarian Gender Research Foundation, The European Peacebuilding Liaison Office, and World Widelife Fund.
Besides the presentation of the EU-CIS Gender Watch project and Reports the floor was given to Nathalie Ewing from CONCORDE Secretariat that presented the outcomes from the meeting of Gender Working Group "Cooperation & Strategizing with partners in developing countries".
Discussion was chaired by Joyce Haarbrink (EEPA). The main conclusions out from the meeting were:
- the common platform for European NGOs in needed to show the international solidarity and to monitor and lobby the EU institutions,
- gender is not high in the ahenda of the EU, neither in ENP nor NMS,
- EC delegations are mainly dealing with governments, not with civil society, that's why NGOs are not listened at all,
- there is a huge gap between rhetoric and practice,
- EU the "gender" exclusive talks concerns 5 big topics: economy, enegy, environment, trade or transport; women are ignored and again treated as a not priority issue (good explanation: there are alrady cross-cuting issue)
- there is no obligation and no responsibility of the EC in field for gender issues,
- tools like gender budgeting or gender impact assesment are not planed to be implemented (should be at least in DG Dev and DG Relex),
- governments don't want to talk anymore about MDGs (esp. MDG 3) because of the upcoming dissapointment of the goals fulfilment,
What can be done?
- we should go back to the Treaties, values and principles of the EU to show that the same consider all the EU development programs, projects and all the policies,
- economic development and empowerment of women are the keys to influence changes,
- it is important to work in fields on capacity building and networking,
- evidence should be collected as well as case studies and good practicies,
- the women's NGOs should be consulted in a process of formulation of the EU Gender Action Plan (DG Dev and Member States) and women's NGOs should lobby the national platforms,
- EU should not only focus on the big 5 topics but also on equality and justice!
In June 24 the venue was organized in Residence Palace, Rue de la Loi 155, 1040 Brussels. It started with the press conference. The speakers were: Zofia Lapniewska - the EU-CIS Gender Watch project Coordinator (NEWW), Monika Landmanova (IGPN) on behalf of the EU New Member States - giving the perspective of gender inclusion in national ODA, Oksana Kisselyova (LSI) representing the beneficiary countries of ENPI and responding to all the comments - Corinne Andre (DG EuropeAid). The press launch was chaired by Joyce Haarbrink (EEPA).
Some press releases:
'Aid From New EU Members Disregards Women' by David Cronin from IPS.
'Europese Unie laat vrouwen in de steek' by Evila Neefs from De Standaard
The Agenda of the official launch of the reports was:
10.15 – 10.30 Opening by Zofia Lapniewska (NEWW)
10.30 – 12.00 Session 1: Presentation of CIS country reports and European Commission responses
10.30 – 11.15 Presentation of country reports from the CIS countries
- Oksana Kisselyova, Liberal Society Institute, Ukraine
- Agnieszka Brzoska, Women’s information Center, Georgia
11.15 – 12.00 Responses from EC (DG Relex and DG EuropAid)
- Corinne André, Expert on civil society, gender and vulnerable groups, unit "Quality of Operations": Governance, security, human rights and gender , DG EuropeAid
- Anna-Carin Krokstäde, Policy officer ENPI general coordination, DG Relex
12.00 – 12.30 Roundtable discussion
12.30 – 13.30 Lunch
13.30 – 15.00 Session 2: Presentation of country reports from New Member States and responses from Member States representatives and MEPs Chair: Joyce Haarbrink (EEPA)
13.30 – 14.00 Presentation of country reports from New Member States
- Monika Landmanova, Chair International Gender Policy Network, Czech Republic
- Tania Tisheva, Bulgarian Gender Research Foundation, Bulgaria
14.00 – 14.45 Responses from representatives of the permanent representations to the EU and MEPs
- Josef Jirkal, third secretary, Permanent representation of the Czech Republic to the EU
- Gabriela Cretu, MEP from Romania, Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality
14.45 – 15.15 Roundtable discussion
15.15 – 15.30 Concluding remarks
At last but not lease during all those days many bilateral meetings were organized with the EC and EP representatives. That gave the opportunity to discuss personally our views, ideas and improvments proposals - on how to put gender in the EU agenda.
Bilateral meetings with:
Fanny Marshal: DG Relex: Gender Coordinator for ENPI region
C.I. Ungur: EC Desk Officer Ukraine
Elina Viilup: EP Policy Dept. External Relation, Gender
Mr Libor Roucek: Czech MEP, monitoring gender in AFET committee, European Parliament,
Stefano Di Cara: Desk Officer Georgia. EC,
Marusya Ivanova Lyubcheva: Bulgarian MEP, member of delegation to Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine + committee on Women's rights- European Parliament
The events finished with a big interest from all institutional, press and NGOs side and hopefully developed reports would turn the eyes of EU on women's rights and gender equality.
All reports can be download from: