The European Commission's draft law for a gender quota across the EU won't be easy to pass, given the heavy resistance from a number of member states. But German commentators on Thursday say that it is nevertheless an important step in the right direction.
The European debate about the necessity of gender quotas in the upper echelons of business reached a new milestone on Wednesday, but negotiations on the controversial issue are far from over.
After weeks of wrangling over the issue, the European Commission approved a draft law that would create a gender quota for non-executive directors of stock-listed companies across the European Union. If approved, the new regulations would stipulate that women occupy 40 percent of the seats on the non-executive boards of Europe's roughly 5,000 publicly traded companies by 2020. In instances where candidates' professional qualifications were the same, women would also be given preference, should they be under-represented in that company. Companies that do not adhere to the rules could be sanctioned.
The proposal is a watered-down version of one put forward by the quota's long-time champion, European Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding, who vowed not to give up after her first effort was blocked by the Commission in September. .............(more)