Publications of Anna Van den Vleuten

The Politics of Gender in the Field of European Regulatory Agencies

Independent agencies are important regulatory instruments in European governance. They are also generally considered as central institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women’s rights. In this chapter we aim to understand linkages between these institutional structures and gender equality at the EU level from a variety of perspectives. We successively examine EIGE – the European agency specifically devoted to gender equality – its role and efficiency regarding EU gender equality policy, as well as its impact on expertise elaborated on gender issues and incorporated in EU policy-making. We also look at the particular contribution of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) to gender equality and its relationship with EIGE. We then consider mainstream European agencies from a gender perspective, and, we also adopt a Europeanization point of view in order to analyze the consequences of the EU model of equality bodies at member states level. Finally, we elaborate on the specific impact of the current context, characterized by both austerity politics and illiberalism. We conclude with some thoughts on the importance of considering regulatory agencies when analyzing EU gender equality politics and the relevance of what is, still, an under-developed path of research.