The Gender CoP strongly recommends to the EU Commission, the European Parliament, and the European Council that stakeholder competencies on gender equality and the dual gender equality approach be improved through training, coaching, or process guidance.
This must apply to all actors and decision makers concerned with the preparation and programming of cohesion policy as well as with the assessments and negotiations of Partnership Agreements and Operational Programmes, implementation reports, monitoring and evaluation of MS and regional performance on EU level, in order to broaden their competencies. This can be achieved by using this STANDARD together with the support of gender experts/support structures facilitating the capacity building.
The capacity building needs to reflect:
- All structural and thematic aspects of gender equality and the dual approach in the different steps of the programming cycle;
- The different tasks in the process/the different obligations and responsibilities of the staff involved;
- The political will of the highest level of policy planning/management (which so far remains rather unaffected by a gender perspective) to provide support and resources to make gender equality a reality within the Structural Funds.
General capacity building requirements for all actors and decision makers
Although gender equality and the dual gender equality approach are better anchored in the cohesion policy for the funding period 2014 – 2020 than for previous periods, some important elements are still missing, underestimated, or misunderstood. These elements should be subject to further capacity building closely tailored to the needs and tasks of the actors and decision makers and for a gender equality support structure at EU level:
- A coherent gender equality integration into all steps, procedures, and thematic issues of the preparation process and documents;
- A close link to the Gender Equality Strategy and the Gender Equality Pact of the European Union;
- Maintaining a clear distinction between
- gender equality
- non-discrimination and
- equal opportunities for all
- The formulation of gender equality objectives and interventions not only on the process levels (requiring coherent integration into documents on EU, member state, and regional level) but also showing that gender equality matters when making decisions on thematic gender equality issues integrated into thematic objectives, investment priorities, key actions, etc;
- The integration of gender equality requirements into all cycles, making sure that the next cycle will apply the principle, and not delegating the implementation of the dual approach to the project level.