[Brussels, 30 June 2014] By the end of last week, the Council of Ministers finally decided to nominate Jean-Claude Juncker as President of the European Commission. Following the democratic decision taken by the European voters, giving the majority to the European People’s Party, it was a necessary step. But having now nominated a man as the President of the Commission one of the most influential positions at the EU institutions, we urge the Member States to use the opportunity to establish an equal representation of women and men in EU institutions by equally appointing women and men to the other 30 top-positions of the Union: 28 Commissioners, President of the Parliament and President of the Council of Ministers as well as the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
As Parity is one of European Women’s Lobby (EWL) main demands of the 50/50 campaign, we continue urging national governments to propose one women and one man for each Commissioner position, as well as for the Presidency of the Council, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the Presidency of the European Parliament. The political groups inside the Parliament do have the same responsibility: ensuring gender parity in the nomination of chairpersons within Committees, as well as in the composition of the Bureaus.
Especially in times of crisis, where trust and credibility are at stake with regards to the EU and its institutions, we need a European Union that represents its societal diversity, including parity between women and men. Furthermore the EU needs a strong message to back women’s rights and gender equality which are undergoing a backlash in many ways across the European society. The designated Commissioner Juncker sees an urgent need to establish a Commissioner for Internet but oversees the urgent need to include half of the population, namely women in the College of the Commission. The European Women’s Lobby asks for the instauration of a Commissioner position for gender equality and women’s rights which would give a strong signal for gender equality across Europe and beyond.
Let’s make sure that this can happen. Go for 50/50!