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Fifth Community Action Programme on Equal Opportunities (2001-2006)

This summary has been archived and will not be updated, because the summarised document is no longer in force or does not reflect the current situation.

Fifth Community Action Programme on Equal Opportunities (2001-2006)

This programme aims to promote equality for men and women, particularly by assisting and supporting the Community framework strategy. To this end, the programme coordinates, supports and funds the implementation of transnational projects.


Council Decision 2001/51/EC of 20 December 2000 establishing a Programme relating to the Community framework strategy on gender equality (2001-2005) [See amending acts].


This fifth Community action programme is one of the instruments needed to implement the Community's global framework strategy on gender equality, which was adopted by the Commission in June 2000. It follows the third and fourth equal opportunities programmes, covering the periods 1991-1995 and 1996-2000 respectively.


The programme's objectives are:

  • to promote and disseminate the values and practices underlying gender equality;
  • to improve understanding of issues related to gender equality, including direct and indirect gender discrimination and multiple discrimination against women;
  • to develop the capacity of players to promote gender equality effectively, in particular through support for the exchange of information and good practice and networking at Community level.

Community action

With a view to achieving the objectives referred to above, the programme will support the implementation of the following actions:

  • raising awareness of the issue of equal opportunities, primarily by publicising the results of the programme via events, campaigns and publications;
  • analysis of factors and policies relating to gender equality, via the collection of statistics, studies, gender impact assessment, tools and mechanisms, development of indicators and effective dissemination of results. This will also include monitoring of the implementation and application of Community law on gender equality in order to assess their impact and effectiveness;
  • transnational cooperation between parties through the promotion of networking and exchange of experiences at Community level.

Consistency and complementarity

The Commission and the Member States are responsible for ensuring consistency and complementarity between action taken under this programme and other relevant EU and Community actions, such as those supported by the DAPHNE, STOP, PHARE and MEDA programmes, the sixth framework programme for research, the programme to combat social exclusion and the Community action programme to combat discrimination (2001-2006).

In addition, the programme must take account of specific actions supporting equal treatment for women and men in the area of employment and work which may be undertaken by the Community under the Structural Funds, the EQUAL Community initiative or measures promoting cooperation to reinforce employment strategy.


The financial reference amount for the implementation of the programme for the period 2001-2006 is EUR 61.5 million. The participating bodies (Member States, local and regional authorities, social partners, non-governmental organisations and bodies promoting gender equality) must provide cofinancing of at least 20% of the budget of projects undertaken.


In order to be eligible, the projects funded under this programme must:

  • be transnational in nature, i.e. involving at least three partners from three Member States;
  • promote equal opportunities for men and women;
  • ensure cofinancing by promoters of at least 20% of the budget;
  • offer added value at EU level and an innovative aspect;
  • have an evaluation system in place;
  • allow international exchanges, dissemination of results and the possibility of transfer within the EU.

Monitoring and evaluation

The Commission is responsible for regular monitoring of the programme in cooperation with the programme monitoring committee, which is made up of representatives of the Member States. The programme shall be evaluated at its mid-term and at the end, with the assistance of independent experts. The evaluation will assess the relevance, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of actions implemented. It will also examine the impact of the programme as a whole.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Decision 2001/51/EC



OJ L 17 of 19.01.2001

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Decision 1554/2005/EC



OJ L 255 of 30.09.2005

Last updated: 16.01.2006