Gendering the EU Budget: Can European Parliament play the role of a gender budgeting advocate?

Abstract: This chapter critically investigates the EU budgetary process and the EU budget from a gender equality perspective using an original capability-based methodology. This investigation reveals that the EU’s high level political and legal commitments to gender equality and gender mainstreaming are not followed through in the budgetary process and decisions. As a result, the chapter asks whether the European Parliament, as the only institution representing the European common good in the budgetary process, could play the role of a gender budgeting advocate. In the shadow of the overarching neoliberal efficiency and competitiveness discourse dominating budgetary politics, the fragmented nature of the Parliament as an institution and its limited veto powers within the budgetary process vis-a-vis the national governments, the chapter finds limited possibility for the Parliament to play this role. Accordingly, the chapter identifies internal coalition building within the Parliament, external coalition building with national parliaments and taking advantage of alternative political frames of democracy and accountability as potentially effective strategies for the Parliament to place gender budgeting in the EU agenda.

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