"The EPP Group welcomes the creation of an Equality Commissioner as an unrivalled opportunity for the EU, which we intend to make full use of. However, some questions are outstanding and we would have liked to hear more detail on some of the initiatives Commissioner-designate Helena Dalli will take and how she will work with other Commissioners across other portfolios", said Frances Fitzgerald MEP, EPP Group Spokeswoman on the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee, following today’s European Parliament hearing.
“Achieving equality for our citizens is a long-held ambition for the EU, for which Commissioner-designate Dalli has the opportunity to bring forward proactive, concrete action in order to genuinely deliver for citizens", added MEP Fitzgerald, highlighting key areas for the EPP Group such as gender pay and pension gaps, encouraging women entrepreneurs and supporting a better work-life balance.
It is important that these concerns are addressed, according to Dennis Radtke MEP, EPP Group Spokesman on the Employment and Social Affairs Committee: "During the hearing, clear statements were lacking in key areas for our committee, such as what implementing measures the Commission is planning concerning the European Disability Strategy. We hope that Commissioner-designate Dalli acknowledges our concerns, so that we will have fruitful cooperation over the next five years."
There must be zero tolerance against gender-based violence and to that end, the EU ratification of the Istanbul Convention is crucial, but other measures must also be pursued.
The EPP Group further called on Commissioner-designate Dalli to seek greater EU budget allocations and optimise existing EU funding instruments in her role to support equality, to help women finance their business ideas and to promote accessibility for people with disabilities, to name but a few priority areas.
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 182 Members from 26 Member States