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EU’s gender equality policy for the future

During its Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Finland wants to facilitate debate on the EU’s gender equality policy for the future and strengthen the links between economic policy and gender equality.

Finland’s Presidency coincides with an institutional turning point: the new European Commission will take office in autumn 2019 and the EU is preparing for new funding and programme periods. The Commission’s Strategic Engagement for Gender Equality 2016–2019 and Action Plan on Tackling the Gender Pay Gap 2017–2019 are also coming to their conclusion.

Finland wants to integrate gender equality more closely with the EU’s policy-making and ongoing central future processes, including the post-Europe 2020 Strategy and EU economic policy. The links between the economy, the social dimension and gender equality will play an important role in many of the equality-related questions the EU will be dealing with in the future.

Gender equality boosts sustainable economic growth

Finland highlights two aspects of the links between the economy and gender equality. Gender equality is an important component of sustainable economic growth, and gender impact assessment should be incorporated into EU’s economic and budget policy. Studies by the EU and international organisations indicate that gender equality and women’s employment contribute to promoting equitable economic growth.

EU member states have developed tools for assessing the gender impacts of economic and budget policy and for finding ways to develop policy-making. It is important to strengthen horizontal cooperation and create concrete tools to reach these objectives at the EU level.

High-level conference on gender equality in Helsinki

Finland’s Presidency will strengthen the links between the economy and gender equality by organising conferences and meetings of experts and by preparing Council conclusions on gender equality. During the Presidency, Finland will organise a high-level conference on gender equality. The conference ‘Europe for Gender Equality? Taking Stock – Taking Action’ will be held in Helsinki from 30 September to 1 October 2019.

The conference will focus on EU’s gender equality policy for the future and discuss the links between the economy and gender equality from different perspectives, such as gender mainstreaming, stronger horizontal cooperation, gender-sensitive investments and gender budgeting.

The High-Level Group on Gender Mainstreaming will meet in Helsinki on 2–3 September 2019, and Finland will bring to the meeting the question of how to incorporate gender equality into EU policy-making. The Presidency will prepare draft Council conclusions on gender equality based on the 25-year review of the UN Beijing Platform for Action.


Eeva Raevaara, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 295 163 205 [email protected]