The nominee to replace Jean-Claude Juncker as the next president of the European Commission said her administration would consist of half females and half men.
Ursula von der Leyen has requested the EU Member States to nominate two individuals, a man, and a female, as their applicants to be their EU Commissioners in order to guarantee that the positions can be fairly split between genders.
The president of the Commission leads a school of commissioners from the 28 member countries – a cabinet government for the executive of the EU. The Commission is accountable for suggesting fresh EU laws that the parliament and council must scrutinize.
The President allocates a portfolio such as agriculture, safety, or finance to each member state. However, the Commissioners do not report to member states and are bound to behave in the interests of the entire union.
“I want a Commission with half a male commissioner and half a female commissioner,” von der Leyen said at a conference with MEPs in Brussels.
Ms von der Leyen will be the Commission’s first female chairman if she is confirmed by MEPs in a vote in the European Parliament planned for Tuesday. Parliament also has to sign off the commissioners’ team after a safety phase.
The current cabinet of the Commission, known as the Commissioners College, has 19 male commissioners and only nine female commissioners.
When Mr. Juncker established his college in 2014, he asked member states to nominate women applicants for gender equilibrium, but it was ineffective. Ms von der Leyen’s fresh strategy of having two nominations from each member country— one of which will be selected— is an effort to overcome the last time’s issues.
The German conservative Ursula von der Leyen has won the support of the absolute majority in the European Parliament on Tuesday and thus will be the new president of the European Commission from autumn.
Von der Leyen thus becomes the first woman to enter the position, which has six decades of history. The German gets the post after a tight vote, backed by 383 votes, with 327 against and with 22 abstentions, which has been held in Strasbourg, France, so it has only achieved 9 votes above those essential to access the position.
And he has done so after giving a passionate speech that has influenced social, environmental and feminist issues. Von der Leyen was proposed by the European Council earlier this month after European leaders dispensed with the main candidates of the groups for lack of consensus to opt for one.