Frances Fitzgerald MEP recently welcomed the European Parliament’s vote to approve its position on the EU’s €750 billion COVID Recovery Fund. Ms. Fitzgerald in particular welcomed MEPs demands that funding must be subject to a gender impact assessment and should focus on care infrastructure investment. “MEPs voted to progress one the largest ever EU funding programmes, a programme which will be absolutely crucial in repairing the economic devastation unleashed by COVID-19,” said Ms. Fitzgerald.
The fund was approved by a joint sitting of the Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) Committee and the Budgets (BUDG) Committee. It was adopted with 73 votes in favour, 11 against and 15 abstentions. The European Parliament will now enter into negotiations with the European Council to conclude a final agreement on the Recovery Fund before the end of this year.
“Crucially, the Parliament’s report recognises that the pandemic has impacted men and women differently and it ensures that funding must be consistent with the EU gender equality strategy and shall be based on gender impact assessments. “This is a major step forward towards adequate gender-responsive budgeting at EU level and represents important progress for gender equity. “Furthermore, the report aims to devote recovery funding towards care infrastructure, not just in the healthcare sector, but also in the context of childcare, care of persons with disabilities and care of older persons. As we know, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to invest in our care facilities and support care workers. “It was essential that my amendments on gender equality and care were taken on board to advance these positions. “Additionally, Parliament has stated that at least 40% of the Recovery Fund must be devoted to climate and biodiversity spending while 20% must be devoted to digitalisation. “This fund will not only help businesses and citizens recover from COVID, but it will help our society to adapt to the new green and digital agenda,” Ms. Fitzgerald concluded.