[Brussels, 20 June 2014] On 19 and 20 June, the European Commission draft directive on women on non-executive boards, which was also strongly supported and adopted by the European Parliament in November 2013 will be debated at the Employment and Social Policies Council. The Greek Council Presidency is expected to report about the current state of play with regards to the different views of the national states on this directive.
The European Women’s Lobby (EWL) is concerned that the directive even though strongly supported by the European Parliament and thus by representatives of the European citizens will be blocked by presently opposing countries like Denmark, Sweden, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Poland and Czech Republic, which would be a setback to progress with regards to enhancing the representation of women on supervisory boards across Europe.
The EWL urges the opposing member states not to continue to exclude women from decision-making positions and to leave half of the European citizens left aside if it comes to decisions which are affecting their lives, too.
This proposed directive is the first step towards real meritocracy and more equality on non-executive boards across Europe. The EWL believes that the example of the several European countries, which already have quota legislation like Norway, Iceland, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Italy shows that this directive is a way to reach real meritocracy.
With approving this proposed directive the European Union, in particular after the EU election in May 2014, can state that gender equality is a priority for European decision-makers.