In October this year, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), will renew its mandate: 326 people drawn from economic and social interest groups (employers, trade unionists and representatives of social, occupational, economic and cultural organisations) from the 27 EU Member States, will be appointed to sit as members. Its role, under the EU Treaties, is as an advisory body to the European institutions. As such, it should contribute "to strengthening the democratic legitimacy and effectiveness of the European Union by enabling civil society organisations from the Member States to express their views at European level".
But how effectively can it fulfil its mandate without equal representaion of women among its members? Currently only 28% of EESC members are women.This is only a very slight improvement from the situation in the last 5 year mandate when women made up only 25% of the members. In a majority of the national delegations, less than 40% of the members are women and in some there are no women at all. The European Commission and the European Parliament - two of the very institutions the EESC is supposed to advise - are making important strides towards gender balance and parity so isn't it time the EESC did the same?
For more information please read the Study: On the road to gender equality: gender balance in the European Economic and Social Committee
The author of the study will be presenting it at the EESC's Information Centre on 3 March 2020 (open to the public but registration required - please see Events for details).