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Positive Discrimination Reigns in Europe: New Commission Will Be 'Genderly Balanced'

Positive Discrimination Reigns in Europe: New Commission Will Be 'Genderly Balanced'

EU Commission President Jean Claude Junker has managed to secure nine women in his Commission line up, making it likely that it will now receive the consent of liberal, green and socialist groupings. The left wing parliamentarians had threatened to vote down the proposed line up on the grounds that it lacked “appropriate gender balance”.

Mr Junker has been putting pressure on European heads of state to change their nominations to women, in order to satisfy the leftists’ gender requirements. He had made it known that women were far more likely to receive top portfolios. His predecessor, José Manuel Barroso had nine women in his Commission, and it was felt that any fewer in this Commission would be unacceptable. Three of the female nominees will be Mr Junker’s deputies.

Before this weekend’s summit to allocate the Commission positions, only four women had been nominated. Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron refused to back down on his nomination of Lord (Jonathan) Hill, as he had hoped that Lord Hill would take the economics portfolio, for which he was felt to be highly qualified.

The proposed women are as follows:

  • Italy – Federica Mogherini – Vice President, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (S&D);

  • Poland – Elżbieta Bieńkowska – Vice President, Budget & Financial Control (EPP)

  • Slovenia – Alenka Bratušek, Vice President, Digital & Innovation (ALDE)

  • Sweden – Cecilia Malmström – Justice and Anti-Fraud (ALDE)

  • Bulgaria – Kristalina Georgieva – Taxation, Fight against Fraud (EPP)

  • Denmark – Margrethe Vetager – Environment (ALDE)

  • Czech Republic- Věra Jourová – Transport and Space – (ALDE)

  • Romania – Corina Creţu – Humanitarian Aid (S&D)

  • Belgium – Marianne Thyssen – Skills, Youth and Multilingualism (EPP)

Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the liberal ALDE group, had previously indicated that his group “cannot support a commission with too few women”, adding “Let there be little doubt that such a skewed commission will not find a majority in the European Parliament and will simply be rejected”.

And the Green grouping released a statement saying “Mogherini’s nomination does not resolve the issue of the demand for equal participation of women in the Commission. It is not enough if out of a total of six top EU jobs, only one goes to a woman.”

President of the European Parliament Martin Shulz, a socialist parliamentarian, made a similar statement to the heads of state attending the summit, informing them that the Parliament may not be willing to accept a gender unbalanced Commission.


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