In the context of cohesion policy development (or other policies) implementation involves the incorporation of analysis findings (gender gaps and gender inequalities) and related objectives (EU gender equality objectives and thematic objectives) into EU-level programming documents to make sure that programming and policy documents in the MS and regions pursue a gender-sensitive strategy and approach.

This implies a process for shaping the previously set objectives and strategies into requirements for activities and areas of intervention to be funded, as well as systems and procedures to ensure a consistent integration of the dual gender equality approach into the implementation of national strategies, policies, and programmes.

General gender equality requirements for the implementation of policy and programming processes involve

  • the binding formulation of gender equality aspects in the rationale, mission, mandate, decision-making procedures, key phases, and issues of the implementation steps and processes – based on the findings of a gender-sensitive analysis and gender-sensitive policy objectives
  • a coherent gender mainstreaming approach addressing all steps/structures and thematic issues of implementation, and not only the formulation of a “separate gender chapter or §”
  • both a coherent integration of the gender dimension and a section describing the comprehensive gender equality approach
  • a description of available gender equality mechanisms or support structures
  • a description of gender-sensitive control and assessment of the preparation process
  • a description of the contribution of the policy programme to the overall strategies defined from a gender perspective and reflecting persisting gender inequalities or discrimination (e.g. pay gap or unpaid work)
  • an analysis of needs to be addressed from a gender perspective
  • a description of specific actions to be supported, directly impacting on gender gaps and inequalities

Gender equality requirements for implementing the Europe 2020 Strategy and the Gender Equality Strategy

In order to ensure that MS and regions coherently integrate gender equality into all steps, procedures, and areas of intervention, requirements have to be in place for drafting the national policy documents – National Reform Programmes, Partnership agreements and Operational Programmes.

General requirements for all ESI funds (European Structural and Investment Funds) are formulated in the Common Provisions Regulation applicable to the five ESI Funds and specific requirements for the ESF in the ESF Regulation. In addition to the Regulations, guidelines for drafting the partnership agreements and the OPs have been developed by the Commission.

The Gender CoP has conducted assessments of all documents and found that:

  • gender awareness and commitment have increased among the actors
  • the general understanding of the need for integration of the dual gender equality approach to fight inequalities and gender gaps has increased and is more strongly formulated in most of the documents compared to previous  programming periods


  • the EU gender equality model (the “egalitarian” model) and EU Gender Equality Strategy, Pact and Charter  objectives are not consistently integrated into  the programming documents
  • the different documents contain good details or abstract formulations regarding the dual approach, but no document shows coherent integration of the approach into all thematic aspects and structures
  • there is still no coherence in terms of gender equality among and within the documents, and they are partly contradictory
  • there is no common approach in the EU institutions (EU COM, EP, and Council) for how to integrate the gender perspective into all thematic aspects and procedures of programming
  • different approaches to fighting gender gaps and discrimination are not understood and formulated separately, but instead are sometimes mixed together and confused in terms of target groups and strategies
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Created: 2013/01/09   Changed: 2014/12/04