Sylvie Goulard: Putting an end to the abuse of power

In honour of International Women’s Day, Sylvie Goulard talks about women and their place in Europe in an interview with

After being an MEP from 2009 to 2017, Sylvie Goulard is now deputy governor of France’s central bank, where human resources are trying to bring in more women in a very male-dominated sector.

The Weinstein scandal and the #MeToo movement that followed raised hopes in the struggle for gender equality. Do you think this is also the case in Europe?

This is a subject in which the risk is of a movement similar to tides: the tide comes in and then goes out.  Raising awareness is a positive thing, but we have to make sure that we don’t lose ground.

The European Commission recently promoted women to management positions. This is a positive step forward. But in appointment procedures, there are still not enough women. For competence to remain a central criterion, there must be a mixed pool of candidates (men and women). Good management of human resources consists of creating sustainable conditions for the emergence of such a pool.

Does the appointment of Juncker’s chief of staff, Martin Selmayr, as secretary-general of the Commission meet these criteria?

I will not comment on this. Generally, transparency is decisive for improving gender balance. Among the issues found in the European bodies, there is also the fixation with the nationality of candidates. The important thing is to make skills prevail over passports, or even in terms of originating from the “North” or the “South” of Europe. A person’s origins are not valid recruitment criteria, much less the prejudice that goes with them.

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