(Brussels, 19 September, 2013) The European Women’s Lobby, European Disability Forum, European Network against Racism, ILGA Europe and AGE Platform Europe call on the Council, European Parliament and the European Commission to increase the budget to 530 million euros for the Equality, Rights and Citizenship Programme 2014-2020
In a joint letter from the European Women’s Lobby, the European Disability Forum, the European Network against Racism, ILGA Europe and AGE Platform Europe, deploring that the future Equality, Rights and Citizenship Programme 2014-2020 could receive a budget of 389.2 million euros – representing 0,04% of the total EU budget and a substantial cut of 15% in this relatively small programme - is a shameful reflection of the priority given to human rights in the European Union.
Calling on the tri-party negotiators (Council, European Parliament and the European Commission), the five networks stress that rights are not self-sustainable, neither do they become a reality by themselves, they need to be actively supported. The promotion, improvement and continued implementation of strong policies by and legislation of the European Union, requires the allocation of sufficient and sustained resources.
Combining strands of previous programmes, notably the gender equality and non-discrimination strands of the PROGRESS programme, the Daphne Programme (combating violence against women, children and young people) and the EU citizenship and Fundamental Rights Programme, which together come to approximately €460 million, the ‘new’ Equality, Rights and Citizenship Programme 2014-2020 already represented a decrease in the European Commission’s initial budget proposal - €439 million- in 2011.
Faced now with the threat of a further decrease, it is time to put extra pressure on our political decision-makers before the Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting of 7-8 October and call for a budget of €530 million for the period 2014-2020. At a time when austerity measures are having devastating effects on women and men, along with rising nationalism and populism, we need stronger policies for gender equality, anti-discrimination, and equality for all in Europe. The EU cannot afford to become complacent.
- Joint letter
- European Commission’s initial proposal for the Rights and Citizenship Programme COM (2011) 758:
- The adjusted post European Council conclusions – budgets (Equality, Rights and Citizenship is under heading 3
- EWL Briefing 2012