4 years overdue!

Cross-party support for Maternity Leave Directive

[Brussels, 26 September 2014] The EWL organised a highly successful photo booth event on the Esplanade in front of the European Parliament on Wednesday 24th September. The aim of our action was to demonstrate support among MEPs and members of the public for the Maternity Leave Directive, which was approved by the European Parliament in 2010 but has since fallen off the agenda and dismissed as ‘red tape’.

The EWL was overwhelmed by the level of cross-party support at our photo-booth event, where participants enjoyed posing with our ‘pregnant’ photo board. We met with 25 MEPs from the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance, the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament (S&D), the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) and the European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR) – all of whom took time out of their busy schedules to come and show their support for the Directive. There was a strong sense of determination among the MEPs to see this issue put back on the agenda and to see the democratically approved decision of the Parliament in 2010 respected and carried forward.

As Ulrike Lunacek, Vice-President of the European Parliament, told us,

“The European Parliament voted for the Maternity Leave Directive years ago. I demand that the Council delivers now, because women shouldhave the right to be with their new-born children from the first day on as long as possible. The Directive also includes that men, fathers, can stay at home for two weeks – just two weeks – right after birth, together with the mother. That would be a signal for companies to know that men also stay at home when they have children, and that’s extremely important. So, it’s for the Council to deliver NOW.”

Spurred on by the support of our elected representatives in the European Parliament, the EWL will now turn its attention to the new Commission and particularly the new Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Věra Jourová and Commissioner for employment, Marianne Thyssen to ensure this Directive is placed firmly back on the agenda after four years of stalling.

Watch this space!

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