The 14 women who could take over the EU

Donald Tusk said it might be ‘difficult’ to achieve gender parity at the top of the EU. Here are some potential candidates.

If you’re hoping for a post-election Brussels elite that is less pale and male, don’t hold your breath.

Last week, European Council President Donald Tusk promised to strive for geographic, demographic, political and gender balance among candidates for the EU’s top jobs. But gender parity among the most senior EU positions may be “difficult to achieve,” he told reporters following an informal summit in Romania.

Currently, there is only one woman in a top EU post — Federica Mogherini, the high representative for foreign affairs. And most of the names circulating for the next Commission, Council, Parliament and European Central Bank presidencies are men.

“There is a lot of awareness — thanks to campaigns like #MeToo, initiatives like the Brussels Binder or citizens’ demonstrations against authoritarian governments,” said Corinna Horst, deputy director of the German Marshall Fund of the United States. She is part of the Brussels Binder initiative to improve female representation in policy debates.

“But the system — the EU institutions, political parties, campaigns — have not been able to adjust yet to create space for new, more diverse representation … And women need to step up too. Demand the space,” Horst said.


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