Ideas for just societies in Europe
Equal treatment and Gender Equality are essential pillars of a just, democratic and open society. There are one of the most important values of the European Union and are legally anchored. The European Union can take initiatives to coordinate the social policies of the Member States (Article 5 TFEU) and thus support the sociopolitical cooperation of its Member States as well as set minimum standards throughout Europe. Articles 151 to 161 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) provide the legal basis for social policy. Common goals of the European Union and its Member States are, for instance, the improvement of living and working conditions and combating exclusion.
EU Monitoring: Current socio-political developments in EuropeIn our EU-Monitoring, we provide a monthly overview of the activities of the European Union, the Council of Europe and the European civil society organisations in the field of social policy. A special focus is on issues in the fields of child and youth policy, family and reconciliation pol-icy, gender equality policy and policy for older people.
Accompanying the monthly EU Monitoring, we publish focus issues in which the European Union's sociopolitical relevant measures and strategies are presented.
If you would like to receive the monthly EU-Monitoring by e-mail, please write us stating your name and organisation: beobachtungsstelle (a) iss-ffm.de
Please note that the EU-Monitoring is only published in German.
For a strong social Europe: The European Pillar of Social Rights and its Action PlanWith the European Pillar of Social Rights proclamation in 2017, the European Union has set guidelines for a strong social Europe that is just and inclusive and offers opportunities for all. With its 20 principles, the European Pillar of Social Rights strengthens the social rights of EU citizens in the three dimensions of equal opportunities and access to the labour market, fair working conditions, and social protection and inclusion. In order to translate these principles into concrete actions, the European Commission adopted the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan in March 2021. The Action Plan provides three targets by 2030: employment, skills and social protection.
In our Newsletter, we present both instruments in detail.
Union of EqualityIn November 2019, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen coined the term "Union of Equality" in the political guidelines for her future Commission 2019-2024: Based on an intersectional approach, strategies and measures are introduced to reduce structural discrimination and socially dominant stereotypes. It should be possible for everybody to have the same opportunities and realize the same life aspirations regardless of differences based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age, sexual orientation or gender identity.
The Gender Equality Strategy and the LGBTIQ Equality Strategy put this idea into practice. Both strategies apply to the years 2020 to 2025.
Please note that the focus issue is only published in German.
The anti-gender movement in Europe
Right-wing populist and anti-feminist movements mobilising against gender equality as well as sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) have gained strength across Europe in recent years. This strengthening also brings to light an increasingly transnationally organised and financed independent anti-gender movement that attacks the rights of women and LGBTIQ* persons as well as civil society. This is evident not only at the national (and local) but also at the European level, where alliances are organising transnationally in attempting to undermine the foundations of the European Union and to reverse already existing consensus on European level.
The newsletter 2/2021 of the Observatory provides an introduction to the emergence, main lines of argumentation, and actors of the transnational anti-gender movement in Europe. To do so, the newsletter takes a look at the specific case of the Istanbul Convention. Furthermore, the newsletter provides insights into three focal topics: transnational financing structures of the anti-gender movement, increasing anti-trans attacks and corresponding counterstrategies, as well as gender-based cyber violence.
Equal opportunities and rights for LGBTIQ* people in EuropeBoth the social situation and the legal policy framework for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer people (LGBTIQ*) vary considerably across EU member states. The Observatory contributes to exploring and examining key challenges and developments of LGBTIQ* policies in Europe from a European comparative perspective.
Most recently, the Observatory's work dealt with the instrument of a national action plan on the rights of LGBTIQ* people, with equality for rainbow families and with combating hate crimes against LGBTIQ* people.
Newsletter 1/2020: Perspectives on the new LGBTI strategy announced by the European Commission2020PDF-Dokument (accessible)This newsletter provides an overview of the existing legal framework and current LGBTI policies at the EU level and outlines requirements for the EU Commission’s LGBTIQ Equality Strategy.