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Cities are the living labs for the future of Europe

What impact for the EU Urban Agenda?

The EU Urban Agenda[1], as it has been decided at the June 2016 Council meeting and in the „Pact of Amsterdam[2]“, has a genesis with highs and lows, ups and downs throughout the past decades. This history is as long as cities have been demanding to get involved directly into EU policy development, a demand they based on two simple facts. First, evidence shows that about two thirds of the EU population live in cities, towns or urban areas. This provides a deeply democratic argument for direct involvement. Cities are the places where most EU citizens live and work. Second, cities are the hotspots of all major social, economic and political developments – they are the hubs for innovation and growth, it is there where new societal patterns first occur, they are the places with the highest density of people with all positive and negative effects. In brief, they constitute the living labs for the future of Europe. To leave them out of the process is simply ignoring their long time existing expertise in integrated policy making – a knowledge older than the EU itself by far.

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It´s not a glass ceiling. It´s a thick layer of men.

das ist ein kleiner Beitrag, den ich für einen spannenden, klugen, jungen feministischen Blog geschrieben habe – es lohnt sich, reinzuschauen: Wine & Vaginas.

In der Brussels Bubble ist Geschlechterdemokratie ein Fremdwort.

Die Brüsseler EU-Blase ist ja so eine Sache. Also aus feministischer Sicht. Fein, und ganz normal, dass es sehr viele Frauen in den EU-Institutionen und darum herum gibt, die sehr gute Arbeit zu vielen verschiedenen Themen machen. Interessant, dass es fast keine wie immer gearteten Debatten zur Geschlechterperspektive in all diesen Themen gibt. Die Folgen der Austeritätspolitik für Frauen? Kein Thema. Die Betroffenheit der Frauen durch die Finanzkrise und deren schwierigerer Zugang zu Krediten? Auch kein Thema. Die Flüchtlingskrise aus Frauenperspektive? Nie gehört. Die soziale Agenda der EU? Schon lange nicht mehr im Fokus… und von wegen Geschlechterdifferenz dabei. Weiterlesen


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„Doing gender“ in the Brussels bubble

Keeping women out seems to be the hidden agenda of the Brussels bubble

A normal week in Brussels, one, when the European Parliament will hold its committee or group meetings, will bring about 80 invitations to all kinds of events to my office´s mailbox. Let´s say that I can skip 50 percent of these immediately (sorry, all you nice people out there, I know it is a lot of work), as they are not at all relevant to my job. Of the 40 other occasions still left to learn, to share, to network, etcetera, most will have a really bad gender balance on the podium, a better one in the audience, the best with the supporting and catering staff. Well…

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