6. Round Table Discussion: Gender Budgeting as an instrument to promote emancipatory policies? Key Objectives of the Round Table The purpose of this discussion was aiming at increasing awareness for the necessity to introduce Gender Budgeting, both at the national as well as the European level. Therefore the idea was to in- volve politicians and key representatives from the administration in order to shape their perception of how to Gender Budgeting can contribute towards reaching gender equality goals. The event was open to the public in order to give the general audience an opportunity to challenge the official views presented and give voice to broader concerns. A large, interested audience attended the round table discussion. Discussants ? Diane Elson, Women’s Budget Group, Great Britain ? Eva Lichtenberger, Green Party, Member of the European Parliament ? Barbara Prammer, Social Democrats, Vice-President of the Austrian Parliament ? Christa Schlager, Watchgroup. Gender and Public Finance ? Gerhard Steger, Director General, GD Budget, Austrian Ministry of Finance ? Daniel Waterschoot, DG Employment, European Commission31 Moderation: Margit Schratzenstaller, Watchgroup. Gender and Public Finance 6.1 Diane Elson: Gender budgeting has a lot of potential to promote emancipatory polices - but this potential has not yet been realized What does Gender budgeting (GB) mean? The core idea is that in order to get better implementation of policies for gender equality we need to ‘follow the money’. Council of Europe definition of GB: ‘Gender based assessment of budgets, incorporating a gender perspective at all levels of the budgetary process and restructuring revenues in order to promote gender equality’ The gap between new laws and policy statements and budgetary practice Too often new laws and policy statements are not linked to mobilization and allocation of re- sources in government budgets. For instance, the EU promotes the objective of increasing women’s labour market participa- tion, but at the same time many members countries have tax systems that discourage this by imposing a higher marginal tax rate on married women’s earnings. Governments claim to be mainstreaming gender but use criteria for the allocation of business support that indirectly discriminate against women. New laws on domestic violence are introduced but the agencies that must implement them are underfunded. 31 In spite of a very early invitation the European Commission chose to be present at the desk officer level only.