Today we gathered in the European Parliament to discuss how to improve the gender balance in European politics and how to ensure that women’s rights are promoted. [:]
We come from different political experiences and different countries. Whatever our background, we are all determined to stand up for women’s rights. European democracy should benefit fully from the talents, ideas and determination of women. When women sit at the table, they can ensure that the political decisions also reflect their needs.
The creation of a more diverse and representative Europe depends on the many choices that will be made in the near future.
A new Commission is about to be appointed. The Barroso Commission had the highest number of female Commissioners to date. Gender balance must be a political objective for the composition of the new Commission.
If the Lisbon Treaty enters into force, the President of the European Council and the High Representative/Vice President of the European Commission will also be nominated.
No women’s names have been mentioned in this context. It is high time to redress this situation. We call on:
• the new President of the European Commission to ensure that the new College has a positive gender balance;
• all national governments improve the situation by giving to the next President of the European Commission the names of both a woman and a man candidate as Commissioners;
• the European Parliament to assess the next Commission from the point of view of gender balance and its policies on women rights.
• all Heads of State and Government to ensure that the appointment of the future top EU posts is gender balanced, as requested in the resolution adopted by the European Parliament in May 2009.
We decided to continue to meet and act in a concerted way. We will be active within our political families and parliamentary groups.
This cause is not only for women. We call on all other MEPs and policy-makers to join us. A more representative European democracy will benefit society as a whole.
Signed (in alphabetical order):
Pervenche Beres Chairwoman of EP Employment Committee
Isabelle Durant Vice-President of the EP
Marian Fischer-Boel Member of European Commission
Lidia Geringer de Oedenberg EP Quaestor
Heidi Hautala Chairwoman of EP Sub-Committee on Human Rights
Danuta Hübner Chairwoman of EP Regional Policy Committee
Eva Joly Chairwoman of EP Development Committee
Silvana Koch-Mehrin Vice-President of the EP
Meglena Kuneva Member of European Commission
Erminia Mazzoni Chairwoman of EP Petitions Committee
Doris Pack Chairwoman of EP Culture Committee
Eva-Britt Svensson Chairwoman of EP Womens Rights Committee
Androulla Vassiliou Member of European Commission
Diana Wallis Vice-President of the EP
Margot Wallström Vice-President of the Commission
Strasbourg, 16 September 2009