(Brussels 22 March 2013)The European Elections and re-appointment of Europe’s “Top Jobs” may be over a year away but announcements are already being made as to who will step down.
In the past week both Herman Van Rompuy and Baroness Catherine Ashton, President of the European Council and Vice-President of the European Commission respectively, have announced they will not be seeking re-appointment next year.
This coincides with an announcement from Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director of UN Women, that she will step down from her post after two years leading the organisation and recently taking part in the Commission on the Status of Women, earlier this month.
Equal representation of women and men in public decision-making is a fundamental right. The under representation of women constitutes a democratic deficit, which undermines the legitimacy of the contemporary democratic ideal and the European Union. A modern and genuine democracy requires gender equality. Equal representation of women and men has to be mirrored in EU institutions for the initiatives pushed by the EU to retain any credibility. Our cover photograph points to the vacancies coming soon - who will fill these places? Herman Van Rompuy was the first full-time President of the European Council. He has enjoyed two terms in this position. It is high time for a woman to replace him.
In the lead up to the European Elections in 2014, the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) 50/50 campaign will be working to achieve equal representation of women and men in all European institutions. The EWL is kindly supported by a Campaign Core Group, including representatives of five political groups in the European Parliament. You can read the EWL 50/50 campaign manifesto here