European Institute for Gender Equality

The European Institute for Gender Equality is a Community organisation established to provide technical expertise, improve knowledge and raise visibility concerning the issue of equality between men and women.

The European Institute for Gender Equality was established in May 2007 and is based in Vilnius, Lithuania. Its objectives are to contribute to and strengthen the promotion of gender equality, including gender mainstreaming in all Community policies and the resulting national policies in the fight against sex-based discrimination. It also aims to raise EU citizens’ awareness of gender equality by providing technical assistance to Community institutions, in particular the Commission and the authorities of the Member States for the collection, analysis and dissemination of objective, reliable and comparable information and data on equality between men and women in order to ensure the implementation of Community policy in the area of gender equality. It organises experts’ meetings, conferences and awareness campaigns, provides documentation resources accessible to the public, carries out surveys on gender equality issues and aims to coordinate a European Network on Gender Equality. The Institute carries out its activities independently in the public interest. It cooperates with organisations in the Member States, such as equality bodies, research centres, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), social partners, as well as with relevant organisations at European or international level and third countries.

The recommendation to establish such an institute was taken at the European Council of Nice which was held between 7 and 9 December 2000. A feasibility study was then conducted and the results published in a report in 2002. The Council of the European Union welcomed this report and urged the Commission to move ahead on the proposal. In June 2004, the Council expressed support for the establishment of the European Institute for Gender Equality. This support was founded on the principle that while Community legislation and policies on equal treatment had substantially reduced discrimination, particularly in the area of employment, progress was too slow and enhanced efforts were required. On 8 March 2005, the Commission formally adopted a proposal for the creation of a European institute and a year later, in December 2006, Vilnius was chosen as the seat of the new body. Shortly afterwards, the European Parliament and the Council formally adopted Regulation (CE) no. 1922/2006 on the establishment of the institute.

The structure of the institute consists of a management board (a decision-making body), a director (the executive body) and an experts’ forum (a consultative body). The first meeting of the institute’s management board took place on 8 October 2007.

See also: equal opportunities; gender mainstreaming

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