Stronger connection between gender equality policies and economic policies

During the Presidency, Finland wanted to advance the discussions on future EU gender equality policies and, in this connection, to especially reinforce the connection between economic policies and gender equality policies.

Studies by the EU and international organisations have shown that gender equality and women’s employment contribute to promoting sustainable economic growth.

Finland’s Presidency coincides with an important stage, as the new Commission took office in November 2019. At the same time, the EU is also preparing for new programme and funding periods.

In addition, the Commission’s Strategic Engagement for Gender Equality (2016–2019) and the Action plan to tackle the gender pay gap (2017–2019) are coming to their conclusion.

Through the theme Gender equal Economies, Finland wants to stronger integrate gender equality into EU decision-making and future processes such as the preparation of post-2020 programmes and EU economic policies in particular.

Within the EU, many future issues of gender equality specifically concern the relationship between the economy, the social dimension and gender equality

How will the EU address questions of gender equality in the future?

During the Presidency, Finland organised a high-level conference on gender equality. The conference, Europe for Gender Equality? Taking Stock – Taking Action, was hold in Helsinki on 30 September–1 October 2019. The conference dealt with the future priorities and directions of EU gender policies.

The discussions approached the relationship between gender equality and the economy from different perspectives: reinforcing gender mainstreaming and cross-sectoral collaboration, financing for gender equality, and promoting gender-responsive budgeting. Finland produced the draft Council conclusions on future EU gender policies based on the review of the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action in the EU (Beijing +25).

The Council adopted conclusions on gender-equal economies in the EU.

Finland’s objectives during the Presidency

Finland’s objectives were:

  • to stimulate debate on future EU gender policies and reinforce the connection between economic policy and gender policies
  • to promote cooperation between EU member states, EU institutions and all actors involved across policy sectors in order to strengthen the link between economic and gender policies and promote a stronger integration of gender equality into key EU decision-making processes in the coming years
  • to have the Council adopt conclusions on gender equality in December; the conclusions include recommendations for measures to be taken by EU member states and the EU Commission.

Further information

Eeva Raevaara, Ministerial Adviser 
Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Department for Work and Gender Equality / TTO, Gender Equality Unit / TASY Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council  0295163205