08 Mar 2017
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 08 MARCHBrussels Daily
International Women’s Day 2017: Gender Equality – a European export
To mark International Women’s Day, the Commission is making a renewed call to ensure equality for women at home and around the world. A new report on equality between men and women published today shows that EU legislation, guidelines, actions and funding possibilities are supporting noticeable but uneven progress in EU Member States. Since the fundamental value of equality between men and women was enshrined in the Rome Treaty 60 years ago, women’s employment rate has reached an all-time high level. However, the gender pay gap remains stubborn with women still earning 16.3% less than men across Europe; and while the Commission is well on track to meet its own target of 40% female representation in senior and middle management positions by 2019, women continue to face a glass ceiling in reaching management and leadership positions. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “Europe is a pioneer of gender equality and that is something we should be proud of. Be it in employment and occupation, vocational training, social security or access to goods and services: women and men have to be treated equally. That is the law. Unfortunately the road to effective equality still has some bumps ahead. That is why we cannot let up. I made equality a cornerstone of the administration I lead and I am proud that two years on we have made enormous strides in reaching the 40% female management target. But if intolerance and chauvinism start to proliferate inside or outside our borders we have to push back twice as hard with a simple and thoroughly European message: gender equality is not an aspirational goal, it is a fundamental right.” For more information on what the EU is doing for women’s rights and gender equality, see the press release and a Q&A. See here the joint statement on the occasion of International Women’s Day 2017. A list of events taking place for International Women’s Day in which the Commissioners are participating, including the 2017 EU Prize for Women Innovators, which will be announced by Commissioner Moedas this evening, can be found here.
Short-term outlook for agricultural markets shows recovery in EU milk prices
The Commission publishes today its short-term outlook for arable crops, olive oil, meat and dairy markets in the EU for 2017-2018, confirming that the reduction in the EU milk supply at the end of 2016 contributed to a significant recovery in EU milk prices. Exports and domestic demand led to record high prices for butter and a significant price recovery for cheese. By contrast, the skimmed milk powder (SMP) price is expected to remain around current levels given the high stock levels and that the seasonal peak of milk collection is still to come. Low cereal prices were driven by abundant world supply and stocks. By contrast, EU cereal production declined by 5.5% in 2016/2017, following smaller-than-average soft wheat and maize harvests. This should result in a slowdown in EU cereal exports. EU rapeseed harvest was also below average but, given the large world oilseed supply, this only resulted in a small price surge. EU sugar prices are catching up with high world prices. As for olive oil, low 2016/2017 production (13% below average) together with low stock levels resulted in higher prices. EU meat production reached a record level in 2016 but is showing signs of downward adjustments. Sustained pig meat exports to China facilitated a recovery in the EU price. Continued good beef exports held EU price decreases in check. The production of sheep meat is growing at a slower rate, on the back of lower prices. The full report is available online.