Political shifts in the EU could potentially see new female faces at the table -- but do any of them want the job?

Gender parity continues to elude senior EU policymakers. According to EU President Donald Tusk equality in influential positions may be "difficult". But there are some women who might be looking for new opportunities in Brussels.

Editorial Team
Editorial Team NewsMavens, Europe
Political shifts in the EU could potentially see new female faces at the table -- but do any of them want the job? - NewsMavens
Margrethe Vestager, Dalia Grybauskaitė and Kristalina Georgieva, Wikimedia Commons

Why this story matters:

Right now there is only one woman holding a top EU position -- Federica Mogherini, the high representative for foreign affairs. And it doesn't look like she will have any female company any time soon, most of the names being mentioned for the next Commission, Council, Parliament and European Central Bank presidencies are men.

According to Corinna Horst, deputy director of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, and a part of the Brussels Binder initiative to increase female representation in  policy debates: "the system -- the EU institutions, political parties, campaigns -- have not been able to adjust yet to create space for new, more diverse representation ... And women need to step up too. Demand the space." 

In the article recommended below, the author highlights 14 senior female politicans who would be suitable and potentially available for top posts in EU institutions. 

Among the women mentioned are: Dalia Grybauskaitė -- the outgoing president of Lithuania is often mentioned as a potential replacement for current president Donald Tusk; Margrethe Vestager --the Danish competition commissioner is on the wish list of many Eurocrats to lead the EU Commission; Kristalina Georgieva -- currently the CEO of the World Bank, Georgieva is highly respected in Brussels and has already served as commissioner for international cooperation, humanitarian aid and crisis response and also as Commission vice president for budget and human resources; Mairead McGuinness -- she has already indicated her interest in the position of European Parliament president. She currently serves as the Irish vice president of the Parliament; Helle Thorning-Schmidt -- The former prime minister of Denmark is also a former MEP who worked at the Commission, She has indicated her interest publicly in seeing more women serviing in the Commission; Nadia Calviño -- Spain’s economy minister has extensive EU experience, between 2014 and 2018 she was director general of the Commission's budget department, following high-level stints at the internal market department and the competition department. The other women can be found in the article recommended below.

Details from the story:

  • At a recent EU leaders' summit, Tusk discussed the process for filling nearly all of the bloc's top positions in coming months. Tusk announced that he would strive for geographic, demographic, political and gender balance.
  • According to Tusk, "This is my intention but as you know we have just five posts and much more conditions and criteria etcetera in this. And I am really afraid that gender balance will be difficult to achieve if balance means balance — not one to four, for example."
  • In each of the political parties represented in the EU parliament, women hold less then half of the seats.
  • According to the European Women's Lobby"The current European Parliament consists of 63% men. That is almost 200 more male than female Members of the European Parliament."

Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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