Proposal for a directive on gender balance among non-executive directors of companies
Question for oral answer O-000125/2018
to the Council
Heidi Hautala, Terry Reintke, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group
Gender equality is a fundamental value of the European Union and means that women must have the same opportunities as men in order to reach leadership positions, including in the economic and finance sector. Furthermore, the added economic and business value that women actively bring to corporate leadership is well recognised.
The Commission’s 2012 proposal for a directive on women on boards sought to address inequality issues by requiring a minimum of 40 % representation of women on company boards. Although Parliament adopted its position back in 2013, when it supported the Commission’s initiative, the directive is still blocked in Council.
The introduction of quota legislation in some Member States has proven to be a success. Data collected by the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) show, however, that in 2017 women accounted for only a quarter of all board members in the largest publicly listed companies registered in the EU, with big discrepancies between different Member States – where women’s presence ranged from 7.4 % to 43 % . This clearly illustrates that the need for, and relevance of, a European directive remains unchanged.
What specific steps will the Council take to unblock this directive? How are the Member States ensuring that there is finally a level playing field in the EU? What are they doing to provide clarity for transnational companies?