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One of the 3 top EU jobs must be held by a woman
October 8th, 2009 by Eurosocialiste

Although the Lisbon Treaty is still not fully ratified, there has already been a lot of speculation in the media about who would be suitable candidates for the 2 top EU jobs it creates along the -already taken- Commission President post: the President of the European Council and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

Annoyed by the fact that most of the names that are currently put forward by the media are only men, some top European women have started to react: read herehere, and thereIn an interview to TheParliament.com on Tuesday, Commission Vice-President Margot Wallström said “It is shameful that, so far, no women seem to have been put forward as possible candidates. All we hear about are people like Tony Blair and other men”. I agree with her. But I would go even further. It is actually more than shameful: I feel it is an insult to all women.

So why is Margot Wallström and many other Eurowomen so annoyed by this. Just take a look at the most recent European Council family picture I could find (here below). Let’s play a game: What’s wrong with this picture?

June European Council – CC The Council of the European Union

No it’s not the vibrant purple colour of Angela Merkel’s outfit (second raw, middle)… No it’s not the fact that Tarja Halonen, the female president of Finland (first raw, middle left), is not wearing a colourful outfit as top EU female politicians usually do… Try again. What is wrong is that apart from Angela Merkel, Tarja Halonen, and Mary McAleese -Irish President, not on the picture- there was no other female head of state (I’m not counting the queens) or government in the 27 European Union countries when this picture was taken (since then Dalia Grybauskaité was elected President of Lithuania). There’s roughly 98% of greyish/blackish suits on this family picture: that is what is wrong.

Here is a picture from a fellow French blogger that summarises the situation pretty well:

dames
Parité – CC Fred

There are plenty of talented, charismatic, competent women that could take one of the 2 top EU jobs left. Here is a list of the names that “some” journalists have put forward:

  • Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, Christian-democrat
  • Tarja Halonen, President of Finland, Social-democrat
  • Margot Wallström, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for institutional relations and communication policy, Former Swedish Minister for Culture, Social Affairs and Youth, Social-democrat
  • Mary Robinson, Former President of Ireland, Former UN Commissioner for Human Rights, Independant
  • Ursula Plassnik, Former Austrian foreign minister, Christian-democrat

That’s a short list. I’m sure there’s a lot more. Any idea? Feel free to contribute!

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8 Responses  
  • Jon Worth writes:
    October 8th, 2009 at 01:56

    Merkel would never leave her job. In 5 years maybe. Halonen is too old. But the other 3 are viable… There are 2 Greeks as well – Dora Bakoyannis or Anna Diamantopoulou.

  • Ralf Grahn writes:
    October 8th, 2009 at 06:07

    There are women qualified to fill the post of President of the European Council, as outlined by the Lisbon Treaty, or the High Representative.

    I wish the member states would put forward names, instead of hiding between closed doors.

    Just as important is to advance towards parity with regard to the Commission.

  • Toby writes:
    October 8th, 2009 at 12:12

    “(I’m not counting the queens)”

    Now there’s an idea that has been missed by all! Screw Blair for Pres, I think the UK should nominate the Queen. She’s never upset anyone – except of Berlusconi and he deserves it – and often wears cheery colours and amusing hats.

  • Catherine writes:
    October 8th, 2009 at 12:26

    I quite like Christine Lagarde. She holds her own quite well.

  • Andreas writes:
    October 9th, 2009 at 17:21

    Ségolène Royal, France
    Beatrice Ask, Sweden
    Fernandez de la Vega, Spain

    If we would put our minds to it, we could find at least one suitable female politician from each EU member state, I am sure…

  • Paul writes:
    October 11th, 2009 at 12:31

    Merkel already has the best job in Europe.
    Halonen is too far left relative to the rest of Europe.
    Robinson, Lagarde, Royal, Wallstrom, Ask, de la Vega, etc. don’t have the required experience as either foreign minister or head of government and some of them are opponents of the domestic governments that are supposed to nominate them.

    Plassnik is a strong candidate for High Representative, but there’s a complication.

    Of the top 4 EU jobs,
    President of the Parliament: Buzek (EPP, medium-sized country, East of the old Iron Curtain)
    President of the Commission: Barroso (EPP. small country, West of the old Iron Curtain)
    President of the Council: undetermined
    High Representative: undetermined

    Plassnik is (EPP, small country, West of the old Iron Curtain).
    On the basis of all the other balancing that must be done, she can only be chosen if the President of the Council is a Socialist from one of the big-4 countries (i.e. Blair).

  • Polprav writes:
    October 16th, 2009 at 19:27

    Hello from Russia!
    Can I quote a post in your blog with the link to you?

  • Eurosocialiste writes:
    October 21st, 2009 at 19:30

    @ Polprav, of course, no need to ask. Sorry you ended up in my spam folder.


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