UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London, 7th Annual International Postgraduate Conference
Friday 17 February 4:30 – 6:00: Panel G3: Gender Regimes
Ingrid Röder (Jean Monnet Centre for European Studies, University of Bremen): ‘EU-enlargement and gender equality: A comparison of the Czech Republic and Slovakia’
The European Union (EU) declares gender equality to be one of the
fundamental principles of a modern democracy. To create equal
opportunities is a necessary prerequisite for a just society and the
inclusion of all citizens. This paper will discuss how the EU placed
emphasis on the practical application of the principle of gender
equality in the candidate countries during the accession period (1996 –
2004) with the main focus on the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The
effectiveness of the pre-accession measures of the European Union in
the area of gender equality in the Czech Republic and Slovakia will be
examined. In what sense were the norms of EU-gender equality not only
formally, but also substantially implemented? In what sense was gender
discrimination hindered and even overcome?
Despite their common past the two countries have developed during their eleven years of separation (until EU-accession) a very different approach towards europeanisation and gender equality. The comparison makes it possible to ascertain the reasons why a substantially different number of gender equality projects have been realised in the two countries and why the projects have been unequally effective. Furthermore, factors can be found to explain what facilitates or makes it more difficult to implement actively gender equality legislation. Conclusions will be drawn on how to improve the pre-accession programmes of the European Union to better support gender equality during the accession process.