On the 10 and 11 of April 2019, in Bucharest, CEEP and the EU cross-industry social partners exchanged views with EU Ministers of Employment and Social Affairs during the informal EPSCO meeting. The ministers’ meeting was focused on the instruments and solutions found by Member States to ensure gender equality in the European Union.

Highlighting the challenges and priorities for providers of public services and services of general interest, CEEP General Secretary Valeria Ronzitti said:

“There is a strong economic case for supporting women’s careers in the labour market. Today, the skills and competences that women acquire through education are not sufficiently used and risk becoming a waste of resources for the EU as a whole.”

“CEEP is particularly concerned by sectoral segregation of the labour market. We know this situation particularly vividly in several public services sectors, in healthcare and education where women are overrepresented and transport where we face the opposite trend. Actions should be taken to address stereotype gender norms in education and career choices.”

“We need to provide concrete instruments for allowing work-life balance. Member States need to invest into social infrastructures and formal care services. The examples from Ireland or Portugal go into the right direction. In parallel, Social Partners must use the full potential of collective bargaining to design innovative flexible working arrangements. Indeed, leave arrangements are not the panacea for better labour market participation of women.”

“Finally, the use of non-legislative measures such as Gender Budgeting can be increased. Fiscal policies and administrative procedures can be structured to address gender inequalities. This will promote accountability and transparency in fiscal planning, increase gender responsive participation in budget process and advance gender equality.”

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