European & International News

EWL calls for 2013 "European Year of Citizens" to spearhead promotion of equality between women and men

[Brussels, 17 August 2011] The European Commission last week proposed to designate 2013 as the "European Year of Citizens", marking the 20th anniversary of the establishment of "union citizenship" under the Maastricht treaty.

The plan was announced by Commission Vice-President Viviane Reding, whose portfolio combines citizenship with justice and equality.

The EWL welcomed the announcement, but stressed that the EU must ensure the link between citizenship and equality remains central, and that the Year should serve the EU as a key opportunity to advance equality between women and men.

In particular, the EWL hopes to see increased focus on the equal rights and responsibilities of women and men in terms of decision-making, notably in the public sphere. At present, less than a quarter of government ministers and members of national parliaments are women, a lack of balance which calls into question the democratic representation of European citizens by their political institutions. The EWL, through its 50/50 Campaign for Democracy, calls for binding measures to ensure parity in political decision-making at both the national and European level. At present, one-third of Commissioners and 35% of Members of the European Parliament are women.

More information on the annoucement on

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