Polish Women's Organizations Visit EU Commissioner
Tuesday, April 22, 2008 2:49 PM

A delegation of Polish women’s organizations met Commissioner Vladimir Špidla on the 7th of April 2008 in Brussels. The women decided to meet the Commissioner because of the lack of any reaction from the Polish government to the important postulates raised by Polish organizations.

The postulates were drafted during a series of conferences and meetings with participation of over a hundred groups and organizations representing women.

Reacting to the situation in Poland, the participants of the delegation asked Commissioner Špidla to monitor and observe how the government of Poland implements the European standards and recommendations with regard to gender equality and opposing violence against women.

The Commissioner accepted the postulates with understanding and informed the delegates that he is himself concerned with the situation in Poland. He confirmed that social area is one of primary concerns of the EU. The Commission realizes that Poland is late with the implementation and some measures have already been undertaken to oblige the Polish government to make more efforts for gender equality. The Commission intends to oblige Poland to pass an act on equal treatment of men and women as soon as possible and create monitoring mechanisms. Ignoring this requirement by Poland may result in a case against Poland in the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

Another issue raised by the Polish delegation concerned the access of women’s organizations to financial means for the implementation of programs aiming at gender equality and citizens’ education. The rule of Gender Mainstreaming is not respected in Poland with reference to assigning European funds and the share of women in using those funds is limited.

Possibilities of further cooperation between the Commissioner and Polish women’s organizations were discussed. Mr. Špidla accepted the invitation to visit Poland to meet women’s organizations and continue the discussion.

The meeting in Brussels was organized by Polish Women’s Lobby.

The participants of the meeting included:

• Center for Women's Rights - Urszula Nowakowska

• Democratic Union of Women - Anna Z. Mackiewicz, Elzbieta Przychodzen

• Brussels representative of Democratic Union of Women - Lidia Urbaniak

•Lower Silesian Platform of Women’s Groups and Associations - Daria Mieszczanowicz

• Federation for Women and Family Planning - Wanda Nowicka

• Polish Women’s League - Irena Halota

• Polish Women’s Lobby– Renata Berent - Mieszczanowicz

• Association of Citizens’ Initiatives – Krystyna Krzekotowska

• Network of East-West Women, NEWW-Polska - Malgorzata Tarasiewicz

Contact: Renata Berent- Mieszczanowicz: renata.bm@wp.pl

Published in: "Polish Women Organizations Visit EU Commissioner," Press Release, The Network of East-West Women--Polska/NEWW, 14 April 2008.