The idea of this website is simple. Every 5 years a new team of European Commissioners is chosen, normally as a result of a messy behind the scenes deal between the Member States. Last time this happened in 2004 we were lucky to end up with 8 female Commissioners. This time around it looks like the gender balance will be even worse.
We believe in gender balance. Neither men nor women should be under-represented in political bodies. Especially not in one of the most important political bodies of the European Union, the European Commission, representing half a billion European citizens. To challenge this we are proposing a Commission of 26 competent women!
Rumours have been circulating that the European Parliament might refuse to approve the team of 27 Commissioners unless it contains at least as many women as the outgoing Commission. We support the European Parliament in doing this, to push for a gender balanced executive, but in stead of proposing simple quotas of women, we here put forward individual names from each and every EU member state. We believe that in order to achieve gender equality, women of flesh and blood should be promoted, not only quotas or numbers!
Who’s behind it?
This website started from a conversation between Jon Worth and Maria Weimer over a dinner in Brussels. Two prominent bloggers about EU matters – Eurosocialiste and Julien Frisch – were brought into the team from the very start. We’ve been driven on by the lively debate on Twitter about top EU positions, and the Woman @ EU Top Twibbon campaign.
Between the four of us we have quite some experience in online campaigns (Who Do I Call, Atheist Bus Campaign) and we’re all EU specialists, one way or another. No-one has asked us to run this website; we’re simply people working in and around the European Union institutions. We consider ourselves to be feminists, and we wanted to do something. This website is what we came up with. Some of us are members of political parties, some of us are not – this is a multi-party, non-partisan initiative.
Who’s paying you?
No-one! We’re all volunteers, and the website design work and hosting has been done by Jon Worth who works as a website designer.