The gender dimension in National Recovery and Resilience Plans has not been properly addressed

The Recovery and Resilience Facility has increased the capacity for social investment in the EU. However, National Recovery and Resilience Plans, funded by the facility, are still plagued by shortcomings such as uneven investing in social programmes in different Member States, insufficient consultation with social partners and a gender dimension that is too weak

"The social dimension in the National Recovery and Resilience Plans (NRRPs)" was the theme of a conference organised by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in Brussels on 8 November.

One of the main objectives of the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), the EU's biggest financial instrument, is to "promote social and territorial cohesion and mitigate the social impact of the crisis" triggered by the pandemic. The reforms and investments supported by the NRRPs should be in line with the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPRS), but are affected by the EU's shortcomings in this area.

EESC president Oliver Röpke called for consideration of new measures to reduce imbalances in EU-funded social programmes, such as in housing, training and education, where vulnerable groups are least likely to benefit from these opportunities.

Evelyn Regner, Vice-President of the European Parliament, drew attention to the uneven level of the social dimension in the NRRPs across the EU. The milestones mechanism in the NRRPs works well in those EU countries where the social partners [are] strongly involved in the preparation of these programmes. In the social dimension, the milestones are weaker in those EU countries where there has been no proper dialogue with the social partners, stressed Regner.

Participants in the session on "The gender dimension in NRRPs" complained that this aspect was not properly addressed in these funds, perhaps in part due to the rush to create the Recovery and Resilience Facility in response to the pandemics.

The gender provisions of the RRF fall short of the EU's legal and political commitments to gender equality. The facility is not in line with the EU's dual approach to gender equality and does not follow the EU's gender equality strategy, argued Irene Rioboo of the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE).

During the debate it was pointed out that some projects under way in Member States could improve gender equality in the long term.


The gender dimension in National Recovery and Resilience Plans has not been properly addressed