2009 EP Elections

The European Union, democracy and fundamental rights for both women and men – one step forward, two steps back!!!

Dear European Heads of Government,

You will this evening take the final decisions on the nominations for the so called ‘EU Top Jobs’, namely the President of the Council and EU foreign policy chief. Five among you will also be deciding on your choice of Commissioner.

So far, these negotiations have proceeded ‘behind closed doors’, in a manner unbefitting to European democracy and transparency. So far, the results these negotiations have delivered are unbefitting to European democratic diversity. So far, you have largely ignored the requests of Commission President Barroso, the European Parliament and civil society representatives to respect our legislation on non-discrimination and gender balance. So far, only five out of the twenty-seven of you have nominated women as your Commissioners, and very few female names have been mentioned for the ‘Top Jobs’.

This situation is unacceptable, and this evening represents your last chance to change it.

The Presidencies of the Commission and Parliament are already held by men. We, representatives of more than 2500 women’s organizations from throughout the Union, demand that at least one of the two remaining ‘Top Jobs’ go to a female candidate.

Concerning the incoming Commission, your collective failure to respect our long-standing call for parity leaves us with no choice other than to back stronger action. We, the European Women’s Lobby, therefore adhere to the growing call for the veto by the Parliament of any Commission failing to contain at least the same number of women as the outgoing Executive.

We call on you, Madam and Sirs, to fulfill this evening your democratic duty towards all of your citizens, both women and men, and hope for a renewed European governance enjoying legitimacy and wide-spread support.

Sincerely yours,

Brigitte Triems
EWL President

Myria Vassiliadou
EWL Secretary-General

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