“Assessing the von der Leyen Commission: ‘Union of Equality’, a new paradigm for the EU?” – 4 April 2024


On the eve of the European elections in June 2024 and the new European Commission’s presidency, this talk aims to study the developments of the governance of the gender+ equality policy in EU institutions during the von der Leyen Commission mandate (2019-2024).

Based on a research programme conducted together with Agnès Hubert, including a series of interviews with high-level officials from the Commission and members of the EU gender+ equality policy community, this talk focuses on the Commission’s quest for equality in terms of policies and politics, and its impact on the symbolic, descriptive and substantive representation of gender and intersectionality concerns in the European Commission and the Union. To do so, it will scrutinize the ‘Union of Equality’ programme developed by the von der Leyen Commission, analysing its nature and specificities, its consistency, but also its sustainability in the context of a major rise of opposition and anti-gender politics.

Sophie Jacquot is Professor of political science at UCLouvain Saint-Louis and Director of the Institute for European Studies.