Time to raise awareness of €1.5bn EU equality and rights programme, says leading MEP

Last month, European lawmakers proclaimed the EU’s Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values programmes as the largest ever amount of EU funding dedicated to promoting the bloc’s values such as democracy and fundamental rights.

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Highlights – Budget 2022: committee debate. Sustainable and smart mobility: vote – Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality

Image Samira Rafaela standing behind the lectern
The Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality will go over its opinion on the EU Budget for 2022, on 12 July. Amongst other things, the draft asks for an increase in the European Institute for Gender Equality’s budget and an independent budget line to the objective dedicated to promoting gender equality in the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values Programme. The Committee will then vote on its opinion on the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy, on 13 July.

The latter highlights the need to tackle the underrepresentation of women as transport workers and the link with the gender gap in STEM and new technologies sectors.

Source : © European Union, 2021 – EP

Briefing – Fighting discrimination in sport – 09-07-2021

Even though the European Union (EU) has built an extensive framework of legislation, instances of racism and homophobia in sport are still rife. Interestingly, Eurostat surveys reveal that the feeling of discrimination is more widespread than actual discrimination. Although there are some variations, discrimination in sport very frequently involves stigmatisation on the basis of external characteristics such as skin colour, body shape and gender. Data from 2017 show that some 3 % of respondents claimed to have experienced racist violence in the previous year, with another 24 % being exposed to racist harassment in that period. Worryingly, the results of a 2018 poll confirm that the vast majority of respondents (90 %) perceive homo/transphobia to be a problem in sport, with gay men feeling homophobia to be a bigger problem than lesbian/gay women and bisexual people. Action against discrimination at EU level is grounded in an established EU legal framework, based on a number of Treaty provisions – in particular Articles 2 and 3 of the Treaty on European Union, and Articles 10, 19 and 67(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The general principles of non-discrimination and equality are also reaffirmed in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU. This legal arsenal is completed by a number of directives and framework decisions – such as the Racial Equality Directive, the Victims’ Rights Directive and the Framework Decision on Combating Racism and Xenophobia, to name but a few – aimed at increasing individual protection. The objectives of the sports strand of the Erasmus+ programme include combatting violence, discrimination and intolerance in sport and providing funding for various projects such as the setting up of LGBTQI+ sports clubs in central and eastern Europe, increasing inclusion in sport, and by bringing together partners who traditionally face barriers to participation, such as women, the LGBTQI+ community and people with disabilities. In addition, since 2016, the European Commission has supported the Council of Europe in promoting safety and security at sports events. In recent years, the Gay Games and the European Gay and Lesbian Multi-Sports Championships have helped raise awareness, build self-esteem and change perceptions based on prejudice.

Source : © European Union, 2021 – EP

At a Glance – Advancing democracy in the world: EU-US Explainer – 28-07-2021

As the pandemic adds to the pressure on democracy worldwide, there is a growing sense of the urgent need to protect democracy and its institutions in a concerted and coordinated manner. On both sides of the Atlantic, growing domestic threats to democracy have added to the external challenges, but also offer global momentum for stronger democratic alliances. In their June 2021 joint summit statement, the EU and the US pledged to support democracy across the globe. As international flagships of democracy, meanwhile, both the European Parliament and the US Congress are strongly engaged in advancing democracy in third countries.

Source : © European Union, 2021 – EP

Briefing – Horizon Europe – Specific programme: Implementing the framework programme – 02-07-2021

In June 2018, the European Commission proposed a total budget allocation of €100 billion to finance science, research and innovation projects during the 2021-2027 period, of which the vast majority, €94.1 billion in current prices, would be allocated to the Horizon Europe framework programme. The main aims are to strengthen science and technology, to foster industrial competiveness, and to implement the sustainable development goals in the EU. Horizon Europe introduces new features such as the European Innovation Council, missions to promote research results, and new forms of partnerships. While the proposal for the framework programme set out the general and specific objective of Horizon Europe as well as the structure and the broad lines of the activities to be carried out, the specific programme aims to define the operational objectives and activities, especially for missions, the European Research Council, the European Innovation Council, work programmes, and the committee procedure. In April 2019, Parliament and Council reached a partial agreement on the specific programme. However, the financial aspects were only settled in December 2020 as part of the broader MFF negotiations. The final text was adopted in April 2021 and entered into force retroactively from 1 January 2021.

Source : © European Union, 2021 – EP

At a Glance – Plenary round-up – July 2021 – 09-07-2021

During the July 2021 plenary session in Strasbourg, Parliament continued to debate and adopt Multiannual Financial Framework programmes for 2021-2027, this time finalising programmes in the justice and home affairs, fisheries and infrastructure areas. Debates on a number of Council and Commission statements were held, including on the programme of activities of the Slovenian Council Presidency, on the conclusions of the European Council meeting of 24-25 June 2021, on the Commission’s 2022 work programme, on the state of play of implementation of the EU Digital Covid Certificate Regulation, on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in aviation, and on the 70th anniversary of the Geneva (refugee) Convention. A number of other debates were held, inter alia on the rule of law and fundamental rights in Hungary and Poland, on amendments to the Visa Information System, and on European Investment Bank activities in 2019. Members also debated international policy issues – the situation in Nicaragua, the repression of the opposition in Turkey, and the situation in Tigray, Ethiopia.

Source : © European Union, 2021 – EP

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