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Hometown: Xenia, OH
Member since: Tue Sep 19, 2006, 03:46 PM
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EU Justice minister seeks legislation on gender quotas for top corporate jobs.

EU justice commissioner Viviane Reding has said she is up for an "interesting fight" within the commission itself and with nine member states opposing draft legislation on gender quotas for top jobs in companies.

The legislative proposal, which is still in drafting stage, aims at obliging publicly listed companies in the EU to reach a 40 percent quota of the "under-represented sex" on their boards by 2020. Sanctions, including fines, will be left to member states to decide and impose.

Currently, less than 14 percent of board members are women and it would take another 40 years at least to bridge the gender gap. Binding quotas are needed, Reding argues, because all voluntary systems so far have failed.

France has meanwhile come out in support of her initiative with a letter dated 21 September in which both the minister of finance, Pierre Moscovici, and the minister of gender equality, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, state their "strong support for this directive proposal" and urge the commission to speed up work on it.


The UK and 8 other EU countries sent her a letter opposing the proposed legislation on national sovereignty grounds rather than on any disagreement with the purpose of the legislation. It is always interesting when the EU pursues more progressive legislation than many European countries are ready for. France (with its new Socialist government) and many other European countries are ready for this gender quota policy. We will see if the reluctant countries can defeat this proposed law or whether they will have to learn to live with it.

New book, ‘For Europe!’, makes the case for a federal Europe; written by Green and Liberal party


‘For Europe!’ is a new book, written by two staunch pro-Europeans – Daniel Cohn-Bendit of the Group of Greens-European Free Alliance and Guy Verhofstadt, leader of Liberals in the European Parliament. Released in six languages, the book aims to be a manifesto, spelling out the benefits of a united Europe.

“Actually this is a book which has been written in anger, in fury against the national elites who, according to Daniel and I, are incapable of dealing with the crisis we are in today. “We very clearly state that the only way, the only realistic solution, is to create a federal union, a federal Europe,” said Verhofstadt, who is also a former Belgian Prime Minister.

Both men attempt to make the case that a unified Europe has a better chance in the face of global competition. However, closer political integration would be vital, according to Cohn-Bendit, who spoke to euronews at the book launch in Brussels.

“We do think that the European model has to be ‘parliamenterized’! “We suggest that the Commission has to become the real government of Europe. And we think that there should be two chambers, the Parliament and a Senate. The Senate could, for instance, be formed for by the governments of the member-states or by representatives of the national parliaments. This would be a democratic model,” he said.


This won't go over well with the Eurosceptics on the right and far-right. They all want a weaker or non-existent EU to return the continent to a collection of competing nation-states that existed in the first half of the 20th century.

UK Labour Party to endorse referendum on EU membership

Britain should eventually stage an in-or-out referendum on membership of the European Union, one of Labour's shadow cabinet has said.

He added that "almost everyone" in the Labour Party would campaign for the UK to remain in the EU.

The 17 members of the eurozone, of which the UK is not a part, are expected to back further fiscal and political integration in an effort to prevent a repeat of the debt crisis. This has led to fears of a "two-tier" Europe developing, with many arguing it could result in the UK leaving the organisation altogether.

"My preference would be an in-or-out referendum when the time comes. Whenever the referendum comes, almost everyone in the Labour Party, along with the Liberal Democrats, will be arguing we should stay part of the EU, because it is good for our economy and good for Britain."


"Almost everyone" in the Labor Party and Liberal Democrats may vote for full membership in the EU if this referendum ever happens, but that is not true with Cameron's Conservative Party.

Majority Of Conservative Party Members Want Britain To Leave The EU

Meanwhile in the rest of the EU, attitudes towards the UK's membership or departure are mixed.

Some would like Britain to stay in the EU, others consider that the country's eventual departure is all but inevitable, and a third group would positively welcome such a development.

Please stay! - This block is strongest in Germany. They want the UK in the EU.

Exit is inevitable! - "Some French-language commentators, in particular, regard Britain's eventual departure from the EU as a foregone conclusion."

Good-bye and good riddance! - There is in fact a body of opinion according to which Britain's departure would be a boon to a European Union which is being held back by London's constant objections.

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