I work for a world in which all people can participate and lead a dignified life.

In the Committee on Budgets, one of the very specific terms I use in this context is gender budgeting – an unwieldy term that actually only answers one question: How do you distribute money in such a way that it reaches the people who need it most? Since women in our society still have considerably less assets and earn less income, but do more unpaid work, let us look at where the EU’s money goes: equally to women and to men (or people of other genders)?

In agricultural policy, much of the money goes to men, promoting traditional ownership structures that exclude women. The same applies to regional development. Therefore, the first thing we demand is transparency. Then, with the help of civil society organisations, we want to organise the EU budget in such a way that hitherto disadvantaged genders receive the share to which they are entitled. This is also good for the economy, because current studies show that a fairer distribution of funds creates more jobs and more sustainable prosperity for everyone – especially for children at risk of poverty.

In the Committee on Regional Development, I am committed to reducing bureaucracy and involving civil society players more closely in the management of funds. Small local initiatives in particular must benefit from EU funding. They do valuable work and must receive concrete European support.

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