EWL News

EWL thanks Eva-Britt Svensson for her outstanding contribution to advancing women’s rights as Chair of the European Parliament’s FEMM Committee

[Brussels, 31 August 2011] The EWL has greeted the news of the resignation of Ms. Eva-Britt Svensson from the European Parliament due to health issues with great regret.

Commenting on The Parliament.com, EWL Secretary General Cécile Gréboval said that the contribution of Ms. Svensson to advancing women’s rights has been tremendous during her time as Chair of the Women’s Rights Committee in the European Parliament.

"Ms Svensson was able, thanks to her skills, commitment and expertise to harness support for many issues vital to the promotion of equality between women and men within the European Parliament." added Ms. Gréboval.

"The work done by the Committee on issues like violence against women, sexual and reproductive health and rights under the leadership of Ms Svensson was instrumental in putting these questions on the agenda and in promoting progressive views on topics that are of crucial importance for the everyday life of women in Europe."

"We in the EWL have also directly witnessed the attention and support that Ms Svensson gives to the views of women’s organisations and civil society in general and are grateful for that support. On behalf of our membership across Europe, we want to thank very warmly Eva-Britt Svensson for her work and dedication and wish her a prompt recovery."

Eva-Britt Svensson hailed for ’fantastic’ job after stepping down from EU parliament - by Martin Banks

[TheParliament.com, 31 August 2011] Tributes have been paid to Swedish MEP Eva-Britt Svensson who has resigned for unspecified health reasons.

Svensson, who will be replaced by Mikael Gustafsson, served as deputy chairman of the GUE/NGL group, and chaired parliament’s women’s rights and gender equality committee.

An MEP since 2004, she became a prominent advocate for women’s rights and was responsible earlier this year for a report which obliges the commission to present proposals on tackling violence against women across the EU.

One of the most active members of parliament, she was given an "Outstanding Achievement" award by The Parliament Magazine in 2010.

" It’s very sad to leave my position" - Eva-Britt Svensson

" Thanks to Eva-Britt, women have had a clear and strong voice on these issues in Europe" - GUE/NGL leader Lothar Bisky

" The contribution of Eva-Britt Svensson to advancing women’s rights has been tremendous during her time as chairman of the committee" - Cécile Gréboval, secretary general of the European Women’s Lobby

" The parliament is losing a strong, hard-working socialist dedicated to women’s rights with heart and soul. But above all I will miss a good colleague and friend"- Kartika Liotard MEP

Svensson, also a member of the conference of committee chairs, said, "It’s very sad to leave my position, but I am also pleased and grateful that I have been working for the GUE/NGL group and the Swedish Left Party in parliament for seven years. Our work has been valuable and effective and will continue."

GUE/NGL leader Lothar Bisky led the tributes, saying, "Eva-Britt did a fantastic job and managed to combine a highly critical attitude to transparency and democracy issues in Europe with strong commitment to women’s rights and gender equality.

"Thanks to Eva-Britt, women have had a clear and strong voice on these issues in Europe."

He described her resignation as a "a great loss not just for the GUE/NGL group but for the parliament as a whole."

MEP colleagues of Svensson also paid tribute with Dutch deputy Kartika Liotard saying, "The parliament is losing a strong, hard-working socialist dedicated to women’s rights with heart and soul. But above all I will miss a good colleague and friend. I wish her all the best and fortunately Sweden is not too far away for a visit."

Portuguese deputy Ilda Figueiredo hailed Svensson’s outstanding contribution on women’s rights and gender equality during her seven years in the parliament.

"As the chair of the FEMM Committee she not only managed to increase the visibility of gender inequalities in the EU, but also put these issues on the European political agenda. We all wish her a swift recovery and for my part it has been a great pleasure to work with Eva-Britt and I’m already looking forward to continuing this struggle with her in the future."

During the FEMM committee meeting on Tuesday in Brussels, vice-chair Edite Estrela wished Svensson a swift recovery warmly thanked her on behalf of the members of the committee, "for her strenuous endeavours in promoting women’s rights as well as for the great contribution she made to the work of the committee, both as an individual member and as chairwoman".

Further comment came from Cécile Gréboval, secretary general of the European Women’s Lobby, who said, "The contribution of Eva-Britt Svensson to advancing women’s rights has been tremendous during her time as chair of the committee.

"The work done on issues like violence against women or sexual and reproductive health helped promoting progressive views on topics of crucial importance for the everyday life of women. On behalf of our membership across Europe, we want to very warmly thank Ms Svensson for her work and dedication and wish her a prompt recovery."

She added, "The contribution of Eva-Britt Svensson to advancing women’s rights has been tremendous. Ms Svensson was able, thanks to her skills, commitment and expertise to gain support for a lot of vital issues for the promotion of equality between women and men within parliament.

"The work done by the committee on issues like violence against women, sexual and reproductive health and rights under the leadership of Ms Svensson was instrumental in putting these questions on the agenda and in promoting progressive views on topics that are of crucial importance for the everyday life of women in Europe."

Karen Schroh, head of the child rights and gender equality campaign group Plan EU, said, "We are sad to hear that Eva-Britt Svensson is leaving parliament. She’s been a committed MEP and a fierce champion for gender equality and her departure is huge loss for Europe. We wish her well for the future, and hope she continues her fight for the rights of women and girls."

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