Matching ambition with reality: How the EU’s gender action plan fits into the programming of its external action

As part of a short series of briefing notes on the implementation of the EU’s gender action plan (GAP III), Mariella Di Ciommo compares the EU’s ambitions with the reality of GAP III implementation in partner countries.

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    Summary

    The EU’s latest Gender Action Plan (GAP III) details how it plans to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment internationally. This briefing note compares the EU’s ambitions with the reality of GAP III implementation in partner countries.

    The implementation of GAP III runs parallel to the programming of EU external action under the new Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument - Global Europe (NDICI-Global Europe) for the period 2021-2027. This offers more space to integrate gender and women’s empowerment in EU interventions for the coming years. Additional factors that could drive a more thorough implementation of GAP III include the existence of financial commitments towards gender under NDICI-Global Europe, the requirement of EU delegations to formulate detailed GAP III implementation documents, and a stronger monitoring framework.

    However, a number of steps are still needed to secure a robust gender perspective in EU development policy and external action in the coming years. The EU institutions will need to take several decisions in the coming months, for instance on finalising the programming documents and detailing their implementation or how to ensure a gendered approach in ‘Team Europe’ initiatives. The EU will also need to look at its own organisational constraints and strengthen its longer-term engagement with a variety of national stakeholders in partner countries.

    Series

    This brief is part of a series on the implementation of the EU’s latest gender action plan (GAP III). Other briefs include:

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    EU foreign and development policy
    EU foreign and development policy
    European Union
    Gender
    Geopolitics and development
    NDICI-Global Europe
    Programming
    Women