UACES Research Network Panel: The EU as a Gender Actor in the World
In December 2018, the Council of the European Union agreed conclusion on the Women, Peace and Security. agenda. The first update to this policy commitment in a decade which significantly extended the reach to a wider range of policy areas. At the same time, the EU decided to advance its security and military cooperation and increase military spending. Against the background of these policy developments and the international political context, this is a crucial point in time to question and assess the EU's role in the word. Is the EU becoming a more feminist international actor? Or is the EU becoming a more traditional hard power actor usually associated with masculinity? How are women represented in and how do they influence EU foreign policies? How doesand should gender feature in cross-cutting issue? The different contributions of this panel analyse the EU's role in the world from feminist perspectives and interrogate these different questions.
Presentations of the Symposium
Gender and EU External Climate Policy
Climate change is gendered – its effects are gendered, its causes are gendered, and decisions about how to address it are gendered. These gendered differences are cut through by differences of class, ethnicity, ability, region and other markers of difference. However, EU climate policy is largely gender-neutral, despite the EU’s commitment to gender equality as a fundamental value and as a policy priority for the EU’s external relations. This paper asks how we integrate gender into an issue which is itself constructed as crosscutting and how can this help us to move from gender mainstreaming to a new way of integrating gender throughout all (intersecting) policy in a way that is transformative and sustainable. Drawing on the literature on gender mainstreaming, feminist institutionalism and horizontal policy coordination, it analyses key external climate policy documents and the international agreements which form the context in which they have been formulated. It argues that gender equality and climate change are both constructed as crosscutting issues that need to be mainstreamed throughout EU external action, but this appears to be done in parallel. The growing interest in nexuses might help us to understand what happens to gender equality when policy sectors interact. We need to move beyond gender mainstreaming and find a way to integrate gender into other crosscutting issues. Rather than making policy a little bit better by inserting the term gender into unchanged policy documents, how do we create feminist climate policy?
The Gendered Dimension of EU-ACP Relations
This paper develops a Feminist Political Economy analysis of European Union (EU) development cooperation policy, through a specific focus on gender mainstreaming in the EU-Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) partnership. Through the analysis of the inter-regional development cooperation relations between these groups, the paper will explore the incorporation of gendered strategies, particularly those based on financial inclusion, microfinance and private sector development, into EU development policy frameworks. It will examine the extent to which these are increasingly associated with and driven by financial and corporate interests and have been shaped by specific states and institutions, fostered within discourses of women’s financial inclusion and empowerment. As such it engages with the gendered nature of political and economic practices of EU governance, and the ways in which the political economy of rule-making at various scales effects the everyday lives of women in the Global South.
The Role of the High Representative in Framing Gender: A Comparison of Catherine Ashton and Federica Mogherini
This paper focuses on the role of the High Representative (HR) for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy in framing gender. We argue that as the HR heads the European External Action Service (EEAS), is one of the Vice Presidents of the Commission and presides over the Foreign Affairs Council, s/he has a fundamental role in providing the framework and direction for gender mainstreaming externally in the EU’s external relations and internally in the EEAS. Indeed the first HR set up the initial internal structure and agenda of the EEAS, including the staffing policies. Second, both HRs to date have been women (Catherine Ashton 2009-2014, Federica Mogherini 2014 to present). While this is symbolically important, it does not in and of itself mean that either have articulated or championed gender themes. By comparing Ashton and Mogherini’s speeches, e.g., on the occasion of International Women’s Day, and mapping how each understands and articulates gender, we can gain insights into how far both are committed to acting as gender champions, thus providing substantive leadership. This is set against the evolution of gender equality and mainstreaming within the EEAS and EU external relations; although this has been lagging behind NATO efforts(see Guerrina and Wright 2016; Guerrina, Chappell and Wright 2018; Kronsell 2016; David and Guerrina 2013), GM has recently been gaining prominence in the EEAS. Overall the paper provides insights into the High Representative’s critical role in setting gender narratives and framing, the ways in which these have evolved under the two HRs, and finally the implications this has for gender equality and mainstreaming, particularly within the EEAS.
The EU’s Women, Peace and Security Agenda: A Critical Frame Analysis
While gender equality represents a core value of the European Union since its foundation (Hoskyns, 1996, Macrae, 2010), the fulfilment of the women, peace and security (WPS) agenda and its adoption in foreign and security policies (FPI) are still insubstantial and subordinate to other priorities and existing gender orders. I draw on the large body of literature on gender equality in the European Union, its history and values (Hoskyns, 1996; Kantola, 2010; Abels and Mushaben, 2012) and on the EU as a normative actors (Peto and Manners, 2006; MacRae, 2010) and a gender neutral foreign actor (Romsloe, 2005; Keukeleire and Delreux, 2014; Smith, 2014) and on EU’s role as a gender foreign actor (David and Guerrina, 2013; Guerrina and Wright, 2016). Since the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty (2009) and the establishment of the European External Action Service (2010), the EU has strived to create more coherence between its internal and external policies. This had an impact on the EU’s work to mainstream gender and on its position as a gender normative actor in its foreign and security policy. Through a critical frame analysis of documents governing an important part of the EU’s work in fragile countries, the paper examines continuity and changes between the 2008 Comprehensive approach on the implementation of the women peace and security (WPS) agenda and the 2018 WPS Strategy. The paper illustrates when and how gender equality is contingent to other interests and the approaches adopted for gender mainstreaming in fragile countries.