Not voting can have serious consequences. Especially when a majority is needed in the European Council. EU ministers could not agree on Monday on a new rules on EU boardroom quotas for women. The vote was canceled and the proposal is now practically dead.
The Dutch government has already announced that it will not include the issue in its upcoming presidency of the EU. The European Commission, in an effort to “better regulate” will simply drop the issue altogether.
This will mean the EU gets no mandatory quotas for women on supervisory boards at EU level. By opting not to take a position, three governments effectively left the proposal dead in the water. Poland's new government has withdrawn their consent and abstained. Portugal has also held back due to forthcoming elections and Germany has also abstained, even though the present compromise merely repeats existing German law.
The Greens/EFA Group will work to ensure that the Dutch presidency follows the subject anyway and ask the German government to abandon its obstructive attitude.
Women’s rights and gender equality spokesperson for the Greens/EFA Group, Terry Reintke, said:
"The fact that the federal government and in particular the Federal Chancellery maintained their blockade is absurd. If the EU quota for women fails, it will Angela Merkel’s fault. The process needs new momentum. The policy for more women on supervisory boards is a key step towards more equality in the EU. It needs EU regulations so that women get better opportunities in all countries.”