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Guidelines sought for new ‘gender equality’ programme


On the initiative of Anna Diamantopoulou, Commissioner responsible for equal opportunities between men and women, the European Commission had a policy debate on a common approach for a new programme (2001-2006) on gender equality. No final decision was to be taken.

The document will be handed to the European Parliament, NGOs and other interested associations for consultation. Then, the document will return to the Commission, which will formally propose a programme. Finally, it will be up to the Council to approve it. This new programme should begin next year.

The main novelty of the document being prepared lies in the incorporation of "gender equality" in all Community policies. Mrs. Diamantopoulou intends placing emphasis on women's participation in the labour market and political life.

The current programme on equal opportunities between men and women will end at the end of the year, and the EP and Council have asked for a new action programme in the matter to be set up. In response to this request, the Commission agreed, at the meeting of the group of Commissioners responsible for equal opportunities on 8 January, to draw up a new plan, and Mrs. Diamantopoulou announced that she was to engage in a policy debate with the College at the end of January (see EUROPE of 8 January, pp. 6/7 for the main guidelines of the new programme being prepared).


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