The WECAN letter below was sent on 15 May 2019 to Lead candidates in the European elections with copies to Council President Donald Tusk, Chairs of the European Parliament political groups and Member State EU Ambassadors and Deputy Ambassadors.  The letter was based on the WECAN Pledge on Gender Proof Growth. Please help us by communicating our calls for greater gender parity and gender proof growth in EU decision making.

The Women Enablers Change Agent Network in collaboration with important organisations and companies across Europe calls upon you to address gender parity during and after the European election process to ensure the diverse leadership needed to lead Europe in the 21st century.

European political leadership is about to change this summer. There is a lot at stake: elections of new members of the European Parliament, the appointment of the Commission, European Parliament and European Council Presidents, the Commissioners and senior positions in the EU Institutions as well as the new EU-budget for the period 2021-2027.

We undersigned want the status quo to change: The share of women in the EU Member State Governments is 29,3%. All current Presidents of the EU institutions (European Council, the Commission, the European Parliament) are male. These institutions together with national administrations safeguard the values of the EU Treaties and set EU policies, which affect most areas of the economy and society of the Union for over 500 million European citizens.

Overwhelming amounts of research point to the economic, societal progress and performance case for pursuing gender equality and diversity in private and public sector decision making. The creation of gender-balanced environment should start in the member states with a commitment to a supportive workplace for both men and women as well as gender parity across all national Government offices and cabinets.

We expect from you, as a candidate for a key post in the future EU leadership, or as the Member States’ representative to the EU, a clear commitment to implement an actionable gender-proof growth agenda for a better Europe.

1. No decisions taken without women: Set the target of gender parity for all leadership positions in the EU institutions and seek overall commitment from the leadership team to deliver on gender equality in the policy areas they are responsible for by making this an objective in their mandate letter.

2. Enact equal economic empowerment policies: policy environment that is supportive of work-life balance for men and women, including the recognition and redistribution of care responsibilities. Equal compensation for equal work: close the gender pay- and pensions gaps. Build future-proof skills to enhance (women’s) access to the labour market, particularly in Science, Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM).

3. Promote financial inclusion and funding: ensure better access to finance and advisory services for female entrepreneurs, particularly in research and innovation and that EU funds and procurement are used more pro-actively to achieve gender equality in the next Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027.

 The following press release has been sent to all major media outlets.

Brussels 15 May 2019

WECAN calls on EU Lead Candidates to commit to a gender balanced EU

The Brussels-based gender equality network WECAN has today sent a letter to all Lead Candidates in the European elections to recall the importance of gender parity when the new leaders of the EU institutions are being selected following the European parliamentary elections after this month. The letter is supported by various international companies and organisations.

The letter is based on the WECAN-Pledge from June 2018, in which WECAN called for a more gender-balanced EU-leadership in 2019. With the upcoming elections of new members of the European Parliament, the appointment of the presidents of the Commission and the European Council, the Commissioners and senior positions in the EU Institutions as well as the adoption of the new budget for the period 2021-2027, it is timely to agree and implement an actionable gender-proof economic growth agenda for a better Europe.

The aim of the WECAN-pledge was to influence political debate and generate discussion around the lack of gender balance in top EU-posts ahead of the European elections. With the letter WECAN, together with its supporters, wishes to remind the potential future EU leadership of the importance of having EU-institutions that properly represent European citizens.




The WECAN-Pledge can be found here:

WECAN on Twitter: @EUWeCan


Further information:

Sandrine Dixson-Declève                                Constance Kann                                         Anna-Kaisa Itkonen

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Co-founders WECAN

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