The European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) gathered some of the key stakeholders on Gender Equality to discuss the implementation of the EU Commission’s new EU Gender Equality strategy in Vilnius during the first EU wide event since the Institute’s launch in June. The event featured European Commission Vice-President Viviane Reding, the representative of the Belgian Presidency of the Council of Ministers of the EU Michel Pasteel and other participants.

left to right: FRA's Director Morten Kjaerum, Vice President of the European Commission Viviane Reding, EIGE's Director Virginija Langbakk, Chair of EIGE's Management Board Eva Maria Welskop Deffaa, Eurofound's Director Jorma Karppinen

left to right:FRA's Director Morten Kjaerum, VicePresident of the European Commission Viviane Reding, EIGE's Director Virginija Langbakk, Chair of EIGE's Management Board Eva Maria Welskop Deffaa, Eurofound'sDirector Jorma Karppinen

EIGE Director Virginija Langbakk says: “We believe that the Commission new strategy will lead to an increased awareness about gender equality. The Strategy defines some concrete tasks for the Institute and we are in the process of delivering a range of tools in support of this”.

This policy document recently renewed European Commission’s commitment to promoting gender equality. The strategy spells out five priorities: the economy and labour market, equal pay, equality in senior positions, tackling gender violence, and promoting equality beyond the EU. It aims in particular to make better use of women's potential, thereby contributing to the EU's overall economic and social goals”, says Virginija Langbakk.

In compliance with the strategy EIGE will assist the European Commission and the Member States by carrying out a number of important tasks including support for the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action that also includes the development and updating of indicators. EIGE will also collect and analyze comparable data on gender issues, and will develop methodological tools, in particular for the integration of the gender dimension in all policy areas.

An other important task for the institute is to set up a documentation centre accessible to the public with existing statistics, data and information, functioning models and approaches to gender mainstreaming employed by various EU bodies, Member States etc. To contribute effectively with the information, EIGE is on the way to establish a virtual European Network on Gender Equality.

Various EIGE studies on gender equality will ultimately form the basis for the creation of an EU Gender Index. The Index will provide Member States and the EU Institutions with the tools to measure progress in gender equality - further strengthening the Commission's new strategy. EIGE and other EU agencies will create such tools in cooperation and synergy with Eurostat, another active player at EIGE’s event in Vilnius.

The Vilnius seminar also resulted in new cooperation among European agencies, crucial to the implementation of the new strategy. EIGE signed cooperation agreements with the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (EUROFOUND) and theEU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA).

During the seminar, the Institute’s official logo was unveiled, created by logo competition winner – French primary school teacher Mr. Guillaume Danjou. He and Polish runner-up Ms. Zofia Szostkiewicz were handed their awards in person by Vice-President Reding.

The competition attracted artists and designers from all over Europe and received more than 1600 proposals from every EU country. According to the competition jury, the logo created by Mr.Danjou not only inspires, but also best reflects EIGE’s objectives of pushing existing boundaries in gender equality, whilst communicating messages of profound importance to the European Union.