At the regional level, the Council of Europe (COE), and the European Union (EU) are the two institutions that draft legally binding law. Of the countries in the CEE and FSU regions, Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, the Russian Federation, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia and the Ukraine are members of the Council of Europe.

Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Slovenia are members of the EU. Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey are in the accession process to join the EU. While negotiating their accession to the European Union in the last few years, these countries have taken steps to harmonize their laws with those of the European Union or have made promises to complete this harmonization process prior to accession. In many cases, these countries have prioritized the adoption of legislation that is compliant with EU obligations in the area of gender equality over the fulfillment of other international obligations, e.g. obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women and the European Social Charter. Nevertheless, the EU accession process and the bargaining power of the EU Commission have become powerful catalysts for legislative and policy change benefiting women in the CEE region.