EU Parliament moves against ECB’s board move
The European parliament has stayed the hand of the European Central Bank over appointing a nominee to the board, on grounds that it had failed to consider a female candidacy.
According to Sven Gielgold, German member of the European parliament for the Green party, the economic and monetary affairs committee halted the process after cross-party criticism that the ECB had not considered any female candidates for the male-only board.
Mr Giegold said: “The EP has today taken concrete steps to address the exclusion of women from the ECB’s executive.
“There has been no female member of the ECB’s executive board since 2011, a situation compounded by the lack of any female presidents of Eurozone central banks, which sit on the governing council. This lack of any female representation in the decision-making bodies of this crucial institution in the Euro crisis is clearly not acceptable.”
He said this turn of events was regrettable and flew in the face of assurances from eurogroup president Jean-Claude Juncker that candidates of each gender would be considered for the replacement of Mr Gonzalez-Palermo.
Mr Giegold said: “There is no shortage of qualified female candidates, so the failure to even consider any, in spite of these assurances, has left MEPs with no alternative.
The ECB is already a body with far-reaching influence and limited accountability; filling a new position on its executive against the will of democratically- elected representatives would be a further step backwards in terms of European democracy in the Euro crisis.”
The economic and monetary affairs committee had previously raised the issue of female representation and committee chair Sharon Bowles wrote to Eurogroup president Jean-Claude Juncker in May 2012 to this end asking him to ensure a female candidate be considered for the replacement of Mr Gonzalez-Palermo.
Research from executive search firm Egon Zehnder International found that out of all eurozone countries, the Scandinavian countries are the best at promoting gender diversity, with 100 per cent of boards in Finland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden including women. France is the only other European country with 100 per cent of boards having some female representation.
The country with the highest number of women on boards was Norway, at 36.4 per cent.
The country with the lowest rate is Portugal, at 4.7 per cent of board positions held by women.
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