More women in the EU top jobs will bring Europe closer to the people

Brussels, 17 November 2009

The Vice-President of the European Parliament, Mrs. Rodi Kratsa, participates in the action for more women in the European “top jobs

Rodi Kratsa demands more women at the leadership positions of the European Union, uniting her voice with the voice of her colleagues MEPs from all political groups of the European Parliament.

At a press conference in Brussels, organized by the Greens/EFA Group, Mrs. Rebecca Harms, Co-President of the Greens/EFA Group, Mrs. Rodi Kratsa, Vice-President of the European Parliament from the EPP Group and member of EP committee for women’s rights and gender equality, Mrs. Diana Wallis, Vice-President of the European Parliament from the ALDE Group, Mrs. Ilda Figueiredo, member of the EP committee for women’s rights and gender equality from the GUE/NGL Group, Mrs. Britta Thomsen, coordinator for EP committee for women’s rights and gender equality from the S&D party and Mrs. Marije Cornelissen, member of EP committee for women’s rights and gender equality from the Greens/EFA group, held a discussion on the under representation of women at the European decision-making posts.

During their intervention, all the speakers agreed that it is necessary for a progressive and modern European Union to reflect the fact that more than 50% of the European population consists of women, and that it is unacceptable that until today only three women candidates have been submitted for the post of Commissioner in the composition of the new European Commission, when the outgoing body counts 8 women Commissioners.

In her intervention, Rodi Kratsa underlined that the responsibility for the composition of the European Commission is collective, as regards both the personal abilities of the Commissioners and the gender balance:

President Barroso made his political will and vision clear by calling on the national governments to provide more female candidates as Commissioners designate. It is incumbent upon the Heads of national governments to respond positively to this call and to the moral and political obligation for the promotion of women in the higher ranks of European decision making. More women in the EU top jobs will bring Europe closer to the people, on a symbolic but also on a substantial and democratic level.

In parallel, the Greek Vice-President of the European Parliament referred to the importance of solidarity among women themselves as well as to the need for civil society action.
She reiterated the significance attached to the support of women’s organizations to women candidates for political posts and gave as an example the International Association for the Promotion of Women of Europe (AIPFE), which counts two of her members as candidates for the new posts created by the Lisbon Treaty: former Latvian President Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga for the Presidency of the European Council, and Austrian former Minister for Foreign Affairs Ursula Plassnik for the post of the EU high representative for foreign and security policy.

She also made a reference to the conference “The Women in Europe: for a real parity”, taking place on Thursday 19 November at the European Parliament. The President of the European Commission, Mr. Barroso, the Commissioner for Institutional Relations and Communication Strategy, Mrs. Wallström, the Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Mr. Spidla, and Mrs. Freiberga will address the conference.

The conference is held under the auspices of Rodi Kratsa and is co-organised with – among others – the Foundation Robert Schuman and the Constantinos Karamanlis Institute for Democracy.

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