Press Release


Gender Equality: historic moment for the self-employed and their assisting spouses. Astrid Lulling MEP


Press Conference on the vote on 'Equal treatment between men and women: self-employed workers and their spouses'<BR>
Astrid Lulling MEP (EPP Group, Luxembourg), Quaestor of the European Parliament and author of the Recommendation on self-employed workers and their spouses
Today, the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) of the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of a Recommendation drafted by Astrid Lulling MEP. This Recommendation calls for an effective application of the principle of equal treatment between self-employed men and self-employed women. The Recommendation was adopted by 29 votes in favour, 1 against, and 1 abstention.

"This law is going to have notable and substantial consequences on the self-employed's status and that of their assisting spouses. It will improve their social protection and their maternity benefits. This law is going to repeal the 86/613/EEC Directive which did not meet its intended aims and objectives", highlighted Lulling.

Astrid Lulling's text is the European Parliament's Recommendation for the second reading of the Directive on the application of the principle of equal treatment between men and women engaged in an activity in a self-employed capacity.

"This is an historic moment. We're talking about millions of self-employed and their assisting spouses. Today's vote brings to an end a 20 year battle between the European Parliament and the Commission to repeal the current Directive which has been effectively gutted. The Spanish Presidency has done a magnificent job in pulling off the needed majority in the Council", said Lulling.

Among others, the recommendation states that every Member State must offer social protection to the self-employed and their assisting spouses or partners. The Recommendation leaves it up to the Member States to decide whether this social protection is mandatory or voluntary.

For further information:
Astrid Lulling MEP, Tel: +32-2-2845386
David Stellini, EPP Group Press & Communications Service, Tel: +32-473-541926

Notes to Editors:
The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 265 Members.

Women's Rights and Gender Equality