Wednesday

23rd Oct 2019

Female commissioners urge Juncker to set gender quota

The prospect of the next European Commission being heavily male-dominated has prompted outgoing female commissioners to draft a letter in response.

The letter, set to be signed by all nine current female commissioners, asks future president Jean-Claude Juncker to make sure at least 10 will be seated on his new team of 28.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

  • Vassiliou wants at least 10 female European commissioners in next mandate (Photo: European Commission)

Androulla Vassiliou, EU commissioner for culture, announced the initiative in Brussels on Thursday (10 July).

“The female commissioners are very worried that there will not be a sufficient number of women,” she told reporters.

The plan is to back Juncker in his bid to pressure EU governments to put forward more female candidates for the next EU executive.

She noted that the current President, Jose Barroso, had, at the start of his two mandates, insisted on greater female representation by making the request in writing to governments.

But so far, only Italy’s foreign affairs minister Federica Mogherini has been publicly touted to possibly take the helm of the EU’s foreign affairs service.

“It looks like one woman’s name is being floated, the Italian foreign minister, and it [other names] all seems to be men,” said Vassiliou’s spokesperson.

Another EU source said it would not be “credible or legitimate” to have a commission with just two or three women.

“All the names [currently] being put forward are just speculation. Nothing can be decided without the agreement of the president of the European Commission,” noted the contact.

Juncker is set be approved as president by the European Parliament on 15 July.

But the process for selecting and appointing commissioners is lengthy and will not be concluded before the end of September.

The list of commissioners is submitted for approval first to the Council, representing member states, and then to the European Parliament, which also has the right to veto the entire commission team.

Opinion

The day we got EU parliamentarianism

Th essence of democracy is that we can go to the polls and elect a new majority, a new government and new laws. The EU is not a democracy.

EP to vote down commission with too few women

EU parliament chief Schulz has warned national governments his institution will reject the incoming college of commissioners if there are not enough women in it.

Opinion

Let's put women in charge of peace talks

We need a more meaningful representation of women in EU institutions and on EU's negotiation tables abroad. The most successful EU deal in the last years, the Iran deal, was brokered by women – Frederica Mogherini and Helga Schmid.

Women in EU institutions get own 'caucus'

Women working in the EU institutions now have their own 'caucus' to advance gender equality, under an initiative by the Italian EU presidency.

Exclusive

Women shun EU-funded site for female entrepreneurs

Wegate.eu, which received €1.2m in EU money since its launch almost two years ago, has less than a thousand registered users - from a possible target audience of at least 10 million.

News in Brief

  1. MEPs criticise Juncker over climate and tax policies
  2. Juncker defends commission record on Greek crisis
  3. Croatian MEP criticises EU parliament for trusting Šuica
  4. Brexit is waste of time and energy, says Juncker
  5. Abortion and same-sex marriage become legal in Northern Ireland
  6. Germany wants internationally controlled zone in Syria
  7. EU parliament refuses to debate Catalonia
  8. Four businessmen charged in Slovak journalist murder

Column

These are the crunch issues for the 2019-2024 EU commission

These developments will largely determine who will be running the world in the coming decades and perhaps generations. If the Europeans can't find an answer over the five years, they will be toast. And we haven't even mentioned climate change.

Magazine

The changing of the guards in the EU in 2019

The four most powerful EU institutions - Commission, Parliament, Council and Central Bank will all have new leaders in the coming ten months. Here is an overview.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAUNESDA welcomes Nicholas Hodac as new Director General
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture
  3. UNESDAUNESDA appoints Nicholas Hodac as Director General
  4. UNESDASoft drinks industry co-signs Circular Plastics Alliance Declaration
  5. FEANIEngineers Europe Advisory Group: Building the engineers of the future
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  7. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  8. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  11. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work

Latest News

  1. EU open to imminent Brexit extension, Tusk indicates
  2. EU centrists ally with far right on migrant rescues
  3. MPs vote on Johnson's latest push for Brexit deal
  4. Macron breaks Balkans promise in quest for EU dominance
  5. Snap elections in North Macedonia after EU rejection
  6. UK opposition MPs attack new Brexit deal
  7. Deep divisions on display over post-Brexit EU budget
  8. Juncker: 'Historic mistake' against Balkan EU hopefuls

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us