A draft European Commission proposal aimed at introducing a binding EU quota for the representation of women on executive boards, which is anticipated to be presented tomorrow, received a major boost with cross-political endorsement from the EPP, S&D, ALDE, Greens/EFA and GUE/NGL groups.
Commenting ahead of the Commission College meeting, S&D president Hannes Swoboda, ALDE president Guy Verhofstadt, Greens/EFA co-presidents Dany Cohn-Bendit and Rebecca Harms, GUE/NGL president Gabi Zimmer, and EPP MEP and EP rapporteur/draftsperson on boardroom quotas Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou said:
"We urge the European Commission not to waste any more time and to come forward with a clear legislative proposal for the introduction of a binding boardroom quota for women at EU level.
"It would clearly be better if a quota were not necessary but, despite years of rhetoric, the percentage of women on the boards of large European companies remains unacceptably low, with the share of women in the highest decision-making bodies of the largest publically-listed companies at a mere 14%. This is certainly not because of a shortage of qualified women, with 60% of university graduates in the EU being women. Binding quotas have already proven successful in addressing this equality gap in European countries and it is time we built on this success by introducing an EU-level quota.
"The European Parliament has previously adopted a resolution calling for introduction of a binding EU quota and we will work together to ensure this much-needed measure is swiftly endorsed by the European Parliament.
"The EU must also lead by example and ensure equal representation in its highest decision-making structures. One concrete step to this end would be to immediately address the total absence of female representation in the European Central Bank's governing bodies. This must be redressed and the European Parliament has a perfect opportunity to do so this week when it votes on a new candidate for the ECB's executive board, a vacancy for which no women were considered."