The “European Law and Gender” action (ELaN) addresses the topic of the law of gender relations within the European legal order. It identifies relevant principles, regulations, and good practices; analyses their impact on both the E.U. and Member States as legal orders committed to the protection of fundamental rights (political representation, family, welfare, markets); discusses the perspectives of the integration of gender analysis at all stages and levels of policies and regulation, with a commitment to equality and anti-discrimination (COM(2001) 295 final), 2001), in the light of the objectives set by the Council of Europe in its Gender Equality Strategy 2018-2023, built upon the vast legal and policy acquis of the Council of Europe as regards gender equality, as well as upon the achievements of the first Council of Europe Gender Equality Strategy 2014-2017.

Academic analysis in this field rests on a long-established tradition of Law and Gender studies. By bringing specific attention to the relevance of gender equality to the E.U., however, we offer a different, at once comprehensive, trans-disciplinary, and highly innovative perspective. Indeed, as the politics of gender mainstreaming has been embraced by the Union, there is a growing need to analyse the impact of E.U. law on gender relations and, conversely, how persisting conditions of discrimination hinder the development of the existing rights and liberties framework. Our approach is aimed at fostering the knowledge of the institutions, policies and processes of gender mainstreaming within the E.U., thereby contributing to the critical understanding of the interplay between gender, sexuality, culture and the law.

The analysis of the relevant sectors and policies will range over many disciplines (Public and Constitutional law, Private law, Criminal law) and avail itself of different methodologies (comparative law, legal theory, sociology of law). Our goal is to promote the achievement of innovative teaching, training practices, policy recommendations, based on sound scientific research. Furthermore, we aim at establishing a research network on European Law & Gender, continuing also beyond the expiration of the action.