Members' Research Service By / October 26, 2021

Gender equality in the Recovery and Resilience Facility

There is evidence that the coronavirus pandemic has affected women disproportionately and exacerbated existing inequalities between women and men.

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Written by Magdalena Sapała (updated on 19.10.2022).

The negative impact of the COVID-19 crisis on women’s social and economic situation triggered a debate on the urgent need for a gender-sensitive policy response to the pandemic. In this context, the establishment of the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) – the EU’s biggest financial instrument supporting recovery in the Member States – is an opportunity to channel extraordinary resources toward measures that take into account the principles of gender equality. It is also a chance to put into practice the EU’s long-standing commitments to mainstream gender across different policies and apply gender budgeting principles to EU spending.

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Offering an overview of how gender equality has been built into the RRF Regulation, this briefing explains what was expected from the Member States when they were preparing their national recovery and resilience plans (NRRPs) as regards gender equality. It also provides practical examples of reforms and investments where gender equality has been taken into account, from the 26 NRRPs approved by mid-October 2022 (only Hungary’s plan is awaiting the Commission’s assessment).

In keeping with the RRF Regulation, all the NRRPs analysed declare gender equality to be a horizontal objective, to be given consideration in all measures. However, only some Member States have included dedicated reforms or investments addressing gender-related challenges explicitly or indicating women as the main beneficiaries. The most numerous and innovative measures, with gender equality clearly indicated in the milestones or targets linked to them, are present in the plans of Belgium, Estonia, Spain, Italy and Austria.

This is a further update of a briefing the previous edition of which was published in April 2022.

Read the complete briefing on ‘Gender equality in the Recovery and Resilience Facility‘ in the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.

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