When the proposal for a Conference on the future of Europe was made in 2019 by the Commission and the European Parliament, prospects for Europe and gender equality were grim. The pandemic had not struck yet, but Europe was still paying the toll of the 2008 financial crisis and years of neglect of social policy and the term backsliding became common to define gender equality at European and national levels. In this dark landscape, the official launch of the Conference in April 2021 shined as a glimpse of hope and the first opportunity to concentrate on a future which could be brighter with more European solidarity to challenge the big issues of climate change and digital transformation and the patriarchal governance structures which had de facto excluded women and minorities from decision making.

This opening on the future appeared to be an opportunity to think ahead and develop a younger, updated and more democratic and feminist vision of Europe while politicians are increasingly drawn into competing for media attention and twittering linked to short term, national(ist) policies. The first stage or the COFOE ended on 9 May in Strasbourg with the formal presentation of 49 recommendations and 326 measures. During this last plenary session, as throughout the conference, gender parity among participants was duly observed. One could say that the gender contract was indeed respected. However, as only 4% of the measures finally adopted addressed gender issues or contained a gender-sensitive approach, in G5+we believe that it was only symbolically respected.

We are proud to offer for discussion a policy paper on the gender perspective of the Conference. While adopting both a descriptive and analytical approach to the Conference’s processes and outcomes, the paper offers policy recommendations to attain a feminist future for Europe. This paper is the result of the research made by Victoire Olczak, a junior researcher in G5+, under the responsibility and supervision of the board and the advisory committee. We are particularly grateful to all the officials and institutions which have opened their doors to help Victoire with her research.

In particular we wish to thank Jeromine Andolfatto (EWL), Valentina Balzani (Citizen Ambassador), Gabi Bischoff (Socialists & Democrats MEP), Aline Bruser (ETUC), Stefana Di Battista (Common Secretariat), Mattia de’ Grassi (Cabinet of Commission VicePresident Šuica), Susanne Hoeke (Common Secretariat), Camille Hubac (Cabinet of 1 In alphabetical order. 3 Commission Vice-President Šefčovič’s), Eduard Hulicius (Cabinet of Commission VicePresident Jourova), Inete Ielite (Women’s NGO Cooperation Network of Latvia), Maria Joao Rodriguez (FEPS President), Sarah King (EESC Workers Group Secretariat), Margherita Logrillo (EESC), Noelle O Connell (European Movement Ireland), Danièle Réchard (Common Secretariat of the CoFoE), Lorenzo Repetti (ETUC), Stefanie Ricken (Socialists & Democrats), Arielle Rouby (Socialists & Democrats), Federico Terreni (Europe Mouvement International), Laeticia Thissen (FEPS), Reka Safrany (EWL president), Christa Schweng (EESC president), and Marina Zelenetska (Citizen Ambassador).



Starting with the presentation of the new Gender Five Plus report on Gender Equality and the Future of Europe, this webinar was an opportunity to discuss the results of the Conference on the Future of Europe from a gender perspective, but also the policy recommendations needed to move towards a feminist Europe.

The webinar took place on the 25th of January and was organized by Gender 5 Plus and EUGendering.


Download the report here

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