South West MEP, Molly Scott Cato, and other Green MEPs have expressed dismay at the lack of female candidates nominated by EU member states for commissioner posts in the next European Commission. David Cameron, who recently appointed more women to the cabinet amidst much fanfare, has nominated Lord Hill, a male Eurosceptic, as Britain’s next European Commissioner.
Molly Scott Cato is highly critical of the dearth of female candidates nominated by EU governments:
“This is clearly unacceptable and incoming Commission president Juncker must send EU governments back to the drawing board. The European Parliament has said it will not accept a Commission with too few women candidates, yet based on the current list, we would have fewer women than in the outgoing European Commission (1). It would be scandalous for the European Commission to take a backwards step on gender balance at its top level at a time when it is tasked with promoting equality across the EU.”
Dr Scott Cato points to her own group in the European Parliament, where 21 out of 50 elected members are women; where authority resides with a gender-balanced bureau and male and female co-chairs . She draws a clear distinction between her own Party and Cameron’s Conservatives:
“The increase in the number of women in Cameron’s cabinet was long overdue, but with just ten months to go until the general election this is little more than window dressing. There is no shortage of excellent and highly-qualified women in the UK and EU member states which is made obvious by the large number of successful Green politicians. That’s why the Green Party of England and Wales has more women in senior positions than men and has only ever had women leaders. We do our politics differently, in a very open and democratic way which suits women who are often turned off by macho posturing. We are very happy for Cameron to take a leaf out of our book when it comes to addressing gender balance both at home and in appointments to Europe.”
 A deadline of 31 July was set by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker for EU governments to present their nominations. 24 member states have presented nominees so far but only Sweden and the Czech Republic have named female-only candidates, while Slovenia presented a list including two female candidates. Italy has presented a female candidate for the post of EU foreign policy high representative, who would also be a vice-president of the EU Commission if appointed. There are 9 female commissioners in the outgoing European Commission.
For more information please contact:
Andrew Bell, Media Officer to Molly Scott Cato MEP firstname.lastname@example.org 07903 932220 @aw_bell