Mothers in the European Parliament calling the Council to resume the negotiations on the maternity leave directive  

The Council is urged to resume talks with Parliament on a draft EU directive on maternity leave in a resolution adopted on Wednesday by the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality committee. Members deplored the Commission’s plans to withdraw a draft EU directive on maternity leave after four years’ of deadlock in the Council.

MEPs reiterate their willingness to end the deadlock and call on the Commission to play its role of the "honest broker". The Commission should engage in reconciling the positions of both Parliament and the Council, says the text.


“We should try to improve the situation of women who are pregnant and breastfeeding, they need to be protected”, said the rapporteur Maria Arena (S&D, BE). “We are calling the European Commission and the Council to assume their responsibility”, she added.

If the European Commission decides to withdraw a draft law, members of the Committee will urge the Commission to quickly come up with the new legislative initiative under the forthcoming Luxembourg presidency of the EU Council.

Paternity leave

The Women’s Rights committee also call for fathers’ entitlement to paid paternity leave of at least ten working days.

The resolution was adopted by 19 votes in favour, 3 against and 11 abstentions.


In October 2008, the Commission proposed to review the current legislation (Directive 92/85), as part of the "work-life balance" package, based on ILO Maternity Protection Convention of 2000. In October 2010 the European Parliament closed its first reading and submitted the amended legislation to the Council. The Council has not taken any position on this issue yet.

The withdrawal has been announced in the Commission Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT).

In the Chair: Iratxe Garcia Perez


Rapporteur: Maria Arena(S&D, BE)