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Zero tolerance for female genital mutilation

05-02-2020

The European Union is committed to working collectively to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) as part of broader efforts to combat all forms of violence against women and girls, and to support the efforts of its Member States in this field. The European Commission has undertaken to assess EU efforts to combat FGM every year, on or around the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation on 6 February. This publication is a further update of an 'at a glance' note originally ...

The European Union is committed to working collectively to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) as part of broader efforts to combat all forms of violence against women and girls, and to support the efforts of its Member States in this field. The European Commission has undertaken to assess EU efforts to combat FGM every year, on or around the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation on 6 February. This publication is a further update of an 'at a glance' note originally published in January 2015.

Teaching careers in the EU: Why boys do not want to be teachers

02-10-2019

Teaching – a profession that dates back through the generations – seems to have lost some of its attractiveness at present. An ageing teacher population, severe teacher shortages, difficulties with retaining younger teachers and a significant gender imbalance in staffing at different levels of education are just some of the serious challenges facing the profession. In the EU, only 7 % of all teachers are under 30 years old, while around 36 % are 50 or older. Also, 72 % of the nearly 6 million people ...

Teaching – a profession that dates back through the generations – seems to have lost some of its attractiveness at present. An ageing teacher population, severe teacher shortages, difficulties with retaining younger teachers and a significant gender imbalance in staffing at different levels of education are just some of the serious challenges facing the profession. In the EU, only 7 % of all teachers are under 30 years old, while around 36 % are 50 or older. Also, 72 % of the nearly 6 million people working as school teachers are women, thus confirming the perception that teaching is a 'woman's world'. An extensive 2014 survey revealed that over a third of teachers in the EU work in schools with a shortage of qualified staff, and nearly half of school directors report a shortage of teachers for special needs pupils. Perhaps more worryingly, 81 % of teachers in the EU feel teaching is not valued in society. For most EU countries, raising the status and attractiveness of the teaching profession is therefore an urgent necessity. Despite the seriousness of the challenge, only 11 EU countries have taken some policy measures to make teaching more attractive. EU education systems offer teachers various arrangements in terms of recruitment, career structure, professional development and support, and remuneration. The average starting salary in lower secondary education in the 2016-2017 period was €27 000, with top salaries peaking at €45 000. However, a strong geographical divide is noticeable, with salaries of school teachers in eastern Europe being substantially lower than those in western Europe. Teachers have access to various mobility schemes through Erasmus, the EU's flagship programme in the area of education. From 2014 to 2020, the programme has offered mobility opportunities to 800 000 education staff, thus confirming its growing impact and popularity. In March 2019, the European Parliament supported the tripling of the programme's budget for 2021-2027, to make it more accessible and inclusive and enable more teachers and students to take part in it. Members of the European Parliament also proposed re-allocating the budget to different parts of the programme, as a way to offer pre-school and early education staff more possibilities to participate in mobility schemes.

Hearings of the Commissioners-designate: Helena Dalli - Equality

26-09-2019

This briefing is one in a set looking at the Commissioners-designate and their portfolios as put forward by Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. Each candidate faces a three-hour public hearing, organised by one or more parliamentary committees. After that process, those committees will judge the candidates' suitability for the role based on 'their general competence, European commitment and personal independence', as well as their 'knowledge of their prospective portfolio and their communication ...

This briefing is one in a set looking at the Commissioners-designate and their portfolios as put forward by Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. Each candidate faces a three-hour public hearing, organised by one or more parliamentary committees. After that process, those committees will judge the candidates' suitability for the role based on 'their general competence, European commitment and personal independence', as well as their 'knowledge of their prospective portfolio and their communication skills'. At the end of the hearings process, Parliament votes on the proposed Commission as a bloc, and under the Treaties may only reject the entire College of Commissioners, rather than individual candidates. The Briefing provides an overview of key issues in the portfolio areas, as well as Parliament's activity in the last term in that field. It also includes a brief introduction to the candidate.

Women in foreign affairs and international security: Contours of a timely debate

17-09-2019

The debate on the participation and role of women in foreign affairs and international security is a timely and relevant one, and is being raised with increasing frequency at both national and international levels. In particular, there is growing attention to the imbalances in the representation of women in leadership and other key positions in the area of foreign and security policy, as well as to the growing body of evidence regarding the positive effect of including women in several key areas ...

The debate on the participation and role of women in foreign affairs and international security is a timely and relevant one, and is being raised with increasing frequency at both national and international levels. In particular, there is growing attention to the imbalances in the representation of women in leadership and other key positions in the area of foreign and security policy, as well as to the growing body of evidence regarding the positive effect of including women in several key areas of foreign and security policy. Among these issues, women's role in peacekeeping receives particular attention, as research has repeatedly shown that gender equality contributes to peace, and that peace negotiations involving women have a better chance of being sustainable and effective. Gender-equal societies enjoy better health, stronger economic growth and higher security. The United Nations and the EU have put pronounced emphasis on the issue in the past two decades. UN Security Council Resolution 1325 established the women, peace and security (WPS) agenda in 2000. Since then, more WPS-related resolutions have been adopted, widening the scope and breadth of gendered peace and security. These resolutions have been instrumental in changing the philosophy and rhetoric focused on conflict and gender equality, thereby challenging the international community to do more. Several initiatives are also being implemented at EU level, including through the 2018 EU Strategic Approach to WPS. However, critics posit that a lot remains to be done, as women continue to be under-represented in the field of foreign and security policy across the world.

EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Promoting equality between women and men

28-06-2019

The European Union (EU) is committed to eliminating inequalities and promoting gender equality 'in all its activities' and has made considerable advances over the years. Nevertheless, the situation remains uneven across the EU, and in recent times progress has slowed, stalled or even regressed in some areas. Yet, the evidence points clearly to the benefits of gender equality for individuals, the economy and society as a whole. Public opinion surveys show that a large majority of Europeans agree that ...

The European Union (EU) is committed to eliminating inequalities and promoting gender equality 'in all its activities' and has made considerable advances over the years. Nevertheless, the situation remains uneven across the EU, and in recent times progress has slowed, stalled or even regressed in some areas. Yet, the evidence points clearly to the benefits of gender equality for individuals, the economy and society as a whole. Public opinion surveys show that a large majority of Europeans agree that promoting gender equality is important for a fair and democratic society, the economy and for them personally and that a growing share of citizens would like the EU to do more in this area. Europeans also expect increased EU action on related policies. During the last legislative term, as part of a broader gender equality programme, the EU institutions have been working on proposals for new EU laws to improve work-life balance and combat violence against women. Promoting equality between women and men will remain one of the major challenges in the coming years. Demographic trends, technological developments and changes to the way we work are just some of the issues where different impacts on women and men will need to be considered. Options for further EU involvement could include better implementation and enforcement of existing legislation, moves to modernise it, fill gaps in protection and address emerging issues, and non-legislative measures such as data collection and monitoring, awareness-raising, and support for national and grassroots initiatives. It will require the political will at all levels to tackle issues across a broad spectrum of policies, together with the provision of the necessary institutions, tools and resources to put that resolve into action. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Human Rights

28-06-2019

In the 70 years since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – the first international document to set common standards of achievement for all states – the pivotal role and moral, legal and political significance of human rights in the international arena have become indisputable. However, despite considerable progress in many areas on recognition, codification and implementation, human rights have also come under increased attack. Whether in theatres of war or in the political ...

In the 70 years since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – the first international document to set common standards of achievement for all states – the pivotal role and moral, legal and political significance of human rights in the international arena have become indisputable. However, despite considerable progress in many areas on recognition, codification and implementation, human rights have also come under increased attack. Whether in theatres of war or in the political arena, human rights are now often rejected on ideological grounds. The EU itself has not been spared by the current backlash. In its Member States, a populist wave has empowered some political forces that increasingly question the significance of core human rights, such as the right to freedom of expression. In these troubled times for human rights, opinion polls show that European citizens perceive human rights as one of the most important values for them personally and one of the values that best represent the EU itself. Having emerged from World War II and its atrocities, European countries were determined to secure lasting peace, and the Union they created is founded on respect for democracy, the rule of law and human rights, which guide and shape its legislation and policies. Within the EU, recent action has included new legislation on data protection and access to justice, the European Pillar of Social Rights, and initiatives to combat inequality, discrimination and hate speech. There is also an acknowledgement that more needs to be done to complete the legal framework to combat discrimination and strengthen internal mechanisms for upholding the rule of law. Human rights are additionally a general objective of EU external action. The EU is deeply committed to promoting human rights, as enshrined in international treaties, in its relations with third countries and with other multilateral regional and global institutions. During Parliament's last mandate, the EU consistently applied and deepened a range of policy approaches that strengthen its role and image as a normative power that inspires others through its example. Maintaining and consolidating this policy remains vital for preserving the EU's image and credibility as a normative power based on values, and one that has the capacity to act at a time when the principle of multilateralism is increasingly questioned. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

The professional status of rural women in the EU

27-05-2019

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the FEMM Committee, gives an overview of the professional status of rural women in the EU, as well as their employment situation and position in the labour market in rural areas in most relevant Member States. The study provides identification of the best practices implemented in the Member States and concludes with policy recommendations on the improvement of ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the FEMM Committee, gives an overview of the professional status of rural women in the EU, as well as their employment situation and position in the labour market in rural areas in most relevant Member States. The study provides identification of the best practices implemented in the Member States and concludes with policy recommendations on the improvement of the employment situation and legal status of women living in rural areas of the EU.

Külső szerző

Ramona FRANIĆ, Tihana KOVAČIĆEK

Briefing on the achievements of the FEMM committee in the area of gender equality during the 2014-2019 term (Briefing + Annex)

15-05-2019

Promoting equal economic independence for women, closing the gender pay gap, advancing gender balance in decision-making, ending gender-based violence and promoting gender equality belong to the aims of the European Union. When compared with the rest of the world, the position of women in the EU can serve as a positive example especially because it strives to constantly improve its policies and legislation relating to women’s rights and gender equality. The European Parliament, and its Committee ...

Promoting equal economic independence for women, closing the gender pay gap, advancing gender balance in decision-making, ending gender-based violence and promoting gender equality belong to the aims of the European Union. When compared with the rest of the world, the position of women in the EU can serve as a positive example especially because it strives to constantly improve its policies and legislation relating to women’s rights and gender equality. The European Parliament, and its Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM), has played a very active role in promoting those rights. This briefing looks into the past legislative term (2014-2019) and takes stock of FEMM activities aiming to contribute to gender balance in different spheres of life.

Women, Gender Equality and the Energy Transition in the EU

03-05-2019

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the FEMM Committee, examines the evidence on the role of women in the energy transition in the European Union and the extent of gender equality in the process particularly in respect of the renewable energy sector. The study identifies gender inequalities preventing women from the involvement in the energy transition and career advancement in this area and assesses ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the FEMM Committee, examines the evidence on the role of women in the energy transition in the European Union and the extent of gender equality in the process particularly in respect of the renewable energy sector. The study identifies gender inequalities preventing women from the involvement in the energy transition and career advancement in this area and assesses how the transfer to the sustainable energy model will affect gender equality and the role of women as actors of change. It provides best practices in overcoming the barriers to gender equality in the energy transition and concludes with recommendations to the EU and national decision makers.

Külső szerző

Joy CLANCY; Marielle FEENSTRA

A new directive on work-life balance

02-04-2019

Despite significant progress for some social groups in the area of work-life balance, there has been a general trend of decline since 2011, and progress amongst Member States has been uneven. This proposed directive (complemented with non-legislative measures) should lead to the repeal of the existing Framework Agreement on Parental Leave, made binding by Council Directive 2010/18/EU (the Parental Leave Directive). The new directive contains proposals for paternity, parental and carers’ leave. Stakeholders ...

Despite significant progress for some social groups in the area of work-life balance, there has been a general trend of decline since 2011, and progress amongst Member States has been uneven. This proposed directive (complemented with non-legislative measures) should lead to the repeal of the existing Framework Agreement on Parental Leave, made binding by Council Directive 2010/18/EU (the Parental Leave Directive). The new directive contains proposals for paternity, parental and carers’ leave. Stakeholders have been divided over the level of ambition of the proposed measures. Trilogue negotiations started in September 2018, and a provisional agreement among the three institutions was reached after the sixth trilogue meeting, in January 2019. The provisional agreement is less ambitious than the original Commission proposal and the Parliament’s position, which had, in some ways, gone further than the Commission. The text was approved by the Parliament’s Employment and Social Affairs Committee in February 2019, and now needs to be adopted in plenary. Third edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

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