This week the European Parliament elects its new bureaus of committees. For the first time new rules on the gender composition apply. They foresee that bureaus, chairs and vice-chairs, may not only consist of exclusively male or exclusively female MEPs but at least one woman or one man as well. In the elections of the new bureaus of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) and the Budgets Committee (BUDG) this rule is about to be violated by the election of exclusively male candidates. Sven Giegold asked Parliament’s President Antonio Tajani in writing to take the necessary steps to apply the rule properly. MEP Sven Giegold, spokesperson of the Greens/EFA group in the ECON committee and deputy member of the Constitutional Affairs Committee (AFCO) which is competent on interpreting the Rules of Procedures, commented:
“When it comes to money and finance, gender equality seems to still rank low. Minimum rules on gender equality are not open to interpretation at will. Defending the rules is a litmus test for Tajani. The new President of the European Parliament has to ensure that all committee bureaus are in line with the rule. The ECON committee’s important duties include to insist on the rules of the stability and growth pact. It would be ironic if just this committee would violate our own newly adopted rules so blatantly.
In times of a President Trump our European Parliament should present himself as exemplary on gender equality. Days after the impressive March of Women on Washington we should not just throw overboard our own rules for equality.”
My letter to Parliament’s President Tajani:
Dear President Tajani,
The general revision of our Rules of Procedure included a new rule for the composition of the bureaus of our Parliament’s committees. Since January 2017 rule 204 now includes this sentence: “The diversity of Parliament must be reflected in the composition of the bureau of each committee; it shall not be permissible to have an all male or all female bureau or for all of the Vice-Chairs to come from the same Member State.”
Contrary to the clear rule (“shall”), tomorrow our committees for Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) as well as Budget (BUDG) are set to elect bureaus which violate this rule. The political groups seem to have nominated exclusively male candidates for the bureaus of these two committees.
The ECON committee’s important duties include to insist on the rules of the growth and stability pact. It would be ironic if just this committee would violate our own newly adopted rules ourselves so blatantly. The committees ECON and BUDG committees are the perhaps most relevant to decide financial matters in our house. We should not contribute to the gender gender power gap in particular if our own rules forbid us to do so.
I would like to ask you to take the necessary steps according to rule 226 to ensure that our Rules of Procedures for the election of all committee’s bureaus are fully respected.
With kind regards
New rule 204: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+RULES-EP+20170116+RULE-204+DOC+XML+V0//EN&language=EN&navigationBar=YES