The Simone Veil Pact for Gender Equality


European Simone Veil Pact

Equality between women and men is a fundamental right at the heart of the European project, enshrined in the European Treaties. As early as 1979, Simone Veil was elected the first President of the European Parliament.

However, even if our Union is the area where women are best protected, the full exercise of this right is still far from being a reality in Europe today. In some situations, the existing acquis is even threatened, or worse violated.

The purpose of this declaration is to preserve, promote and strengthen the rights of all women at all levels, European, national and local, in all areas, public and private, for all generations, in all the Member States of the European Union, under the aegis of the European institutions.

It is a pact between signatories to promote an upwards alignment of women’s rights in Europe at their level of responsibility. We give this pact the name of the one who symbolises so much the strength of European women: Simone Veil.

In order to raise the rights of each European, the signatories support the following feminist principles:

  1. Sexual and reproductive rights: Guarantee women’s access to contraception and abortion, as well as to information and education.
  2. Family life: Respect a minimum duration for maternity and paternity leave, regardless of the status of the person concerned, and develop early childhood services. Ensuring a balance between family and working life is a priority.
  3. Combating violence against women: prevent, combat and criminalise all forms of gender-based violence and harassment, at home, online and on the streets, including training of police and judicial authorities, the provision of an emergency number and victims’ support. Every violence is too much violence.
  4. Equality at work: Ensure parity in all positions of responsibility in the civil service, at European and national level, and facilitate it in companies and their boards, and ensure equal pay for equal work. No woman should be deprived of a job or be less paid because she is a woman.
  5. Political representation: Ensure parity in the European institutions, and encourage it at every moment in political life, both within political parties and institutions. Exemplarity is an indispensable guarantee of trust.

To make these rights a reality for women on our continent, the signatories of the Simone Veil Pact wish that:

  • The European Commission undertakes, in the areas of Union competence to identify best practices and the most effective legislation for women in Europe, to encourage their introduction and application in other Member States or propose it at European level, as appropriate and to evaluate progress.
  • Each signatory Member State undertakes to introduce into its legislation and actions the most relevant measures identified by the European Commission.
  • The European Parliament undertakes to monitor annually the implementation of the commitments made by the national authorities and the European institutions. They reserve the right to recommend the adoption of additional measures in European law.
  • The European Council and the Council of the European Union undertake to make gender equality a political priority for the European Union.

Signatories to the Simone Veil Pact also contribute to the empowerment of women, the fight against gender stereotypes and a change of mentality.

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