[Brussels, 18 January 2019] The European Women’s Lobby welcomes the adoption by the European Parliament of the report on the [Equality] Rights and Values Programme, the funding instrument aimed at supporting civil society organisations promoting democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights including equality between women and men. The Programme is part of the legislative proposals for the next EU Multiannual Financial Framework.
The EWL particularly welcomes the inclusion of two (new) articles to support “comprehensive policies and programmes to promote women’s rights, gender equality, women’s empowerment and gender mainstreaming” and prevent and combat “all forms of gender-based violence against women and [promote] the full implementation of the Council of European Convention on combating and preventing violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention).
In addition, it includes a comprehensive definition of violence against women, recognising that “combating gender-based violence requires a multi-dimensional approach covering legal, educational, health, including sexual and reproductive rights, economic and other societal aspects such as supporting women’s rights organisations, providing advice and assistance and projects seeking to achieve the goal of a more gender equal society”.
The Report also responds to the civil society platforms’ call for an increased budget, envisaging earmarked funds for civil society organizations in most of the objectives (the Union values strand). In addition, it creates a Values Support Mechanism, which will introduce a fast-track procedure for grant applications for organizations in Member States experiencing a serious and rapid deterioration of compliance with the Union values.