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EU Cohesion policy: First Gender Equality Report maps female achievements and disadvantages in EU regions

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The Commission has published the first Regional Gender Equality Monitor of the EU. It provides an accurate picture of where women achieve the most at regional level in Europe, and where they face the largest disadvantages. Cohesion and Reform Commissioner Elisa Ferreira (pictured) said: “I am delighted to bring forward this ground-breaking work on mapping the glass ceiling that women face at regional level in Europe. The report demonstrates that there is still a lot to do to help women achieve the same opportunities as men. The Commission will continue working hard towards a gender-equal Europe.”

The paper is based on two specially developed indices: the ‘Female Achievement Index' and the ‘Female Disadvantage Index'. They reveal both the regions where women are achieving more and where they are at a disadvantage compared to men. The paper shows that, on average, women in more developed regions are able to achieve more and are at less of a disadvantage, while most women in less developed regions face big challenges. Within countries, women in capital regions tend to achieve more and are at less of a disadvantage. In general, regions with a lower female achievement index have a lower gross domestic product per capita, while regions with a higher level of female achievement have a higher level of human development. Finally, the quality of government is higher in regions where women achieve more.

In addition to the working paper, the underlying data and the interactive tools, results are also available in the INTERACTIVE DATA STORY.

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European Commission

European Commission adopts its 2021 work programme

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The Commission has adopted its 2021 work programme, designed to make Europe healthier, fairer and more prosperous, while accelerating its long-term transformation into a greener economy, fit for the digital age. It contains new legislative initiatives across all six headline ambitions of President von der Leyen’s Political Guidelines and follows her first State of the Union Speech.

The 2021 Commission work programme sees a shift from strategy to delivery across the following six political priorities:

  1. A European Green Deal
  2. A Europe fit for the digital age
  3. An economy that works for people
  4. A stronger Europe in the world
  5. Promoting our European way of life
  6. A new push for European democracy

Under the first priority “A European Green Deal”, the Commission stated to propose measures to implement Europe’s circular economy action plan, the EU biodiversity strategy and the farm to fork strategy. However, the EU Forest Strategy,  which is considered as one of important policy strategies in achieving the objectives of the European Green Deal, including climate neutrality by 2050, is missing from this work programme.

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The work programme is closely linked to the recovery plan for Europe, with the NextGenerationEU recovery instrument and a reinforced EU budget for 2021-2027.

A full list of the 44 new policy objectives under the six headline ambitions are set out in Annex 1 of the 2021 work programme.

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The Commission’s 2021 work programme is the result of close cooperation with the European Parliament, member states and the EU consultative bodies. The Commission will now start discussions with the Parliament and Council to establish a list of joint priorities on which co-legislators agree to take swift action.

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Digital technology

EU-US Trade and Technology Council: Commission launches consultation platform for stakeholder's involvement to shape transatlantic co-operation

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The Commission has launched an online consultation platform on the EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC), allowing stakeholders to share their views and provide common proposals on the work ahead.Following their first meeting in Pittsburgh last month, representatives of the European Union and the United States agreed on the importance of and commitment to consulting closely with diversestakeholders on both sides of the Atlantic on their co-ordinated approaches to key global technology, economic, and trade issues.

It is in this context that the Commission has set up a one-stop-shop on its online “Futurium” platform, to collect input from all interested parties relating to the TTC. Businesses, think tanks, labour, non-profit and environmental organisations, academics, and other parties that form the civil society at large are invited to contribute, as essential actors to successful EU-US cooperation. The platform is open to everyone after a simple registration. It allows interested parties to have their voice heard in the work of the ten specific TTC Working Groups. Via this website, they can not only feed in their views, but also receive important information and updates on the progress of the different working groups. More information is available in the press release here.

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European Commission

Rule of law: President von der Leyen says the Commission will act to protect EU citizens' rights and common values

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On 19 October, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (pictured), gave a speech at the European Parliament plenary debate on the rule of law crisis in Poland and the primacy of EU law. Speaking to MEPs in Strasbourg, the President addressed the recent ruling of the Polish Constitutional Court which the Commission is currently assessing in detail: “I am deeply concerned. This ruling calls into question the foundations of the European Union. It is a direct challenge to the unity of the European legal order.” President von der Leyen warned of the serious consequences for Polish citizens, who are less protected and whose rights are at stake without independent courts. She underlined that “Polish people must be able to rely on fair and equal treatment in the judicial system, just like any other European citizen”. Recalling the Commission's role as guardian of the Treaties, the President said: “It is my Commission's duty to protect the rights of EU citizens, wherever they live in our Union. The rule of law is the glue that binds our Union together. It is the foundation of our unity. It is essential for the protection of the values, on which our Union is founded: democracy, freedom, equality and respect for human rights. And this is what all 27 Member States have signed up to as part of this Union, as sovereign countries and free people. We cannot and we will not allow our common values to be put at risk. The Commission will act.” In her remarks, she set out the three options for Commission action: infringements, the conditionality mechanism and other financial tools, as well as the Article 7 procedure. Read the full speech online in English, French, German and Polish, and watch it back here.

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