Gender equality issues have gained a strong political commitment and have been included in an emphatic way in the Declaration of the 8th Summit of the Southern European Countries (Athens, 17-September 2021):
The Heads of State and Government of Croatia, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain met on September 17th, 2021 in Athens for the 8th Summit of the Southern Countries of the European Union. The text of the Declaration is divided into three distinctive parts:
- Peace, Security and Stability in the Mediterranean (pages 1-4)
- European Agenda (pages 4-6)
- New Agenda for the Mediterranean (pages 6-8).
Gender equality issues have been included in the following sections:
a) page 5: reference to the European Pillar of Social Rights
“We are committed to reducing inequalities and discrimination, especially between women and men, defending fair wages, fighting social exclusion and tackling poverty”
b) page 5: prevention of trafficking in human beings away from the instrumentalisation of migration for geopolitical purposes
“There is no doubt that cooperation between the EU and third countries is crucial to handle migration flows to prevent smuggling of migrants and trafficking of human beings and an essential component of the external dimension of EU migration policy”
c) pages 6-7: inclusion of gender equality in human rights and fundamental freedoms in the New Agenda for the Mediterranean
“We reiterate our commitment...particularly during the COVID-19 crisis- to working with our Mediterranean partners with the aim of guaranteeing long-term stability, security and sustainable development in the Mediterranean region promoting and protecting good governance, human rights and fundamental freedoms, including gender equality, and strengthening democratic institutions and the rule of law and supporting all aspects relating to an inclusive and non-discriminatory civil society”.
In addition, the Athens Declaration on climate change and the environment in the Mediterranean was also adopted in the framework of the 8th Summit of the Southern Countries of the European Union