With one week left before the European Parliament kicks off with plenary sessions, a myriad of committee meetings and public hearings will be taking place, with women’s issues at the top of the agenda.
One recurring theme throughout the week is the empowerment of women as the von der Leyen Commission continues to put gender equality as a central focus of its ambitious programmes like the Next Generation EU.
In many ways, through the Next Generation EU, there are hopes it will let women be more and more represented and appreciated on the European and global stage.
Here is everything you should look out for this week from the European Parliament:
1. Empowering women entrepreneurs and investors
Date: Monday 19th April
Starting off the week is a public hearing hosted by the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEEM).
This hearing will cover the importance of empowering the EU’s support for women entrepreneurs and investors, including through the EU’s budget 2021 to 2027.
Gender equality and empowering female entrepreneurship have become key factors in securing and strengthening the EU’s recovery from COVID-19. Encouraging women to participate in the labour market and to create new jobs via female entrepreneurship is seen as vital ways for the EU to boost its economy.
Simultaneously, this would continue to empower and reinforce the campaign for total gender equality within the EU via schemes like the Next Generation EU among other initiatives striving for securing a better future for Europe.
2. Roberta Metsola on women and the future of Europe
Date: Wednesday 21st April
Though not happening within the Parliament building, on Wednesday Vice-President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola will be featured as a speaker for [email protected]’s Day 3.
Speaking on the first panel of the day, titled ‘Women and the Future of Europe’, viewers can expect a key insight from Malta’s first European Parliament Vice-President on the role of women in shaping the EU’s future.
Through the Next Generation EU and other schemes by the von der Leyen Commission, we will definitely see a growing role for women that allows Europe to lead the way to gender equality by example, both in the Member States and beyond.
3. Proposal of a Pay Transparency Directive
Date: Thursday 22nd April
A joint hearing of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) and the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) will be held on Thursday on the Commission’s proposal for a Pay Transparency Directive.
Last month, the Commission published their proposal for this Directive to “strengthen the application of the principle of equal pay for equal work or work of equal value between men and women through pay transparency and enforcement mechanisms”.
Under the Treaty of Rome, the right to equal pay between men and women for equal work is a founding principle of the EU. Despite the robust legal framework surrounding the issue, it is the enforcement of these laws that remains a challenge across the Member States.
A lack of transparency is seen as one of the main hurdles. Thus, the Commission’s proposal could end up helping erase the EU’s 14% gender pay gap.
4. Food safety and the frameworks for climate neutrality
Date: Thursday 22nd April
A debate by the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety will offer an in-depth discussion for Health and Food Safety within the European Union through structured dialogue.
It will also highlight ongoing negotiations to establish the frameworks in place for achieving climate neutrality, a European strategy for critical raw materials and debate guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure.
The debate will close with an exchange of views between the WHO and the European Union Health Union on the WHO’s global response to the pandemic.
This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
How do you feel about the gender pay gap in the EU? Let us know in the comments