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European Commissioners were joined by other EU institutions and representatives of civil society at a special meeting on 10th March to discuss the future of gender equality policy in Europe.
The Commissioners Group on Fundamental Rights, Anti-discrimination and Equal Opportunities met in the context of International Women's Day. The extraordinary session took stock of progress under the existing 2006–2010 Roadmap on gender equality and discussed future challenges for EU gender equality policy.
The Extraordinary meeting was attended by representatives of the European Parliament's Committee on Women Rights and Gender Equality, the current and forthcoming Council Presidencies, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions, the Advisory Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men and the European Women's Lobby. To show the importance the Commission attaches to gender equality, the following members of the Commission attended the meeting: President Barroso, Vice President Barrot, Vice President Wallström, Vice President Kallas, Mr Spidla, Mr Orban, Mr Figel, Mrs Vassiliou, Mrs Grybauskaite.
This extraordinary session was a chance to review the progress made on the Commission's current policy framework for gender equality – the Roadmap for equality between women and men 2006-2010. It was also an opportunity for the Commission to exchange views with key stakeholders on future challenges for EU gender equality, in particular in the context of the economic crisis. The outcome of the discussions will assist the Commission in preparing its future strategy for equality between women and men from 2010.