Female Commissioners

This is the female Commission – composed of good, knowledgeable, competent women. We’ve tried to find individuals that would theoretically be able to be put forward by the governments in power in each of the Member States; the party political composition of the list hence reflects the party political picture of Europe. The list is by no means comprehensive – please do let us know in the comments function at the bottom if there’s anyone we have missed.

Some countries have already nominated Commissioners – and all bar three of them are men! If this campaign is to be serious, and the European Parliament has the guts to not approve the Commission, Barroso is going to have to go back to the Member States and ask for alternatives. That’s what this list provides.

The next time someone says a gender balanced Commission is not possible point them to this list!

Austria | Belgium | Bulgaria | Cyprus | Czech Republic | Denmark | Estonia | Finland | France | Germany | Greece | Hungary | Ireland | Italy | Latvia | Lithuania | Luxembourg | Malta | Netherlands | Poland | Romania | Slovakia | Slovenia | Spain | Sweden | UK

Photo credits: please click individual photos for the source.

Ursula Plassnik - WikipediaUrsula Plassnik is a former Foreign Minister. She was appointed in October 2004, succeeding Benita Ferrero-Waldner, who resigned to become a European commissioner. She joined the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP – junior coalition party in the current government) after receiving the offer to become foreign minister, having previously worked as a diplomat as Austrian ambassador to Switzerland. (Source: Wikipedia)
> Possible portfolios: High Representative for Foreign Policy, Development, Enlargement, Neighbourhood Policy

Barbara Prammer - WikipediaBarbara Prammer is President of the Nationalrat, the lower house of the Austrian Parliament. She has been a member of the Nationalrat since 1999 and its President since October 2006. She has also previously been Minister for Women’s Issues and Consumer Protection. She is a member of the SPÖ, the party of Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann. (Source: Wikipedia DE, translated)
> Possible portfolios: Consumer Protection, Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities

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Anne Van Lancker - FacebookAnne van Lancker is one of Belgium’s longest serving MEPs, having been a member of the European Parliament since 1994. During her time in the Parliament she has tirelessly campaigned on women’s rights issues. She is chair of Zij-kant, the women’s organisation within her party, the SP.A, and was previously a member of the Convention on the Future of Europe. She is currently President of the Belgian branch of the European Movement. (Source: Wikipedia)
> Possible portfolios: Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Institutional Relations and Communication Strategy

Annemie Neyts-Uyttebroeck - ELDR DatabaseAnnemie Neyts-Uyttebroeck is a Member of the European Parliament with the Vlaamse Liberalen en Democraten, part of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe and sits on the European Parliament‘s Committee on Foreign Affairs. She has been a MEP since 2004, is a former president of  Liberal International and since 2005 has been president of the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party.
> Possible portfolios: Development, Enlargement, Neighbourhood Policy, Multilingualism

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nominatedRumiana Jeleva - CC / FlickrRumiana Jeleva is Bulgaria’s current minister of foreign affairs. Jeleva is a key figure in the Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) political party which won the 2009 parliamentary elections. From 2007-2009 she served as Member of the European Parliament and headed the Bulgarian delegation in the EPP-ED Group. European Voice has confirmed that the Bulgarian Government will nominate her to the European Commission. (Source: Wikipedia, European Voice)
> Possible portfolios: Trade, Enlargement, Neighbourhood Policy

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nominatedAndroulla Vassiliou - European Commission Audiovisual LibraryAndroulla Vassiliou was nominated in February 2008 to succeed Markos Kyprianou as European Commissioner for Health, taking office in March 2008. European Voice has confirmed that the Cypriot government wishes to nominate her for a full term in the new European Commission. Previously she was elected to the House of Representatives of Cyprus in 1996, for the Movement of United Democrats, and re-elected in 2001 until 2006. Between 2001 and 2006 she was Vice President of the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party, and the chairperson of the European Liberal Women’s Network. (Source: Wikipedia, European Voice)
> Possible portfolios: Health, Consumer Protection

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Czech Republic
Zuzana Roithová - WikipediaZuzana Roithová doctor and ex-Senator is serving now her second term in the European Parliament. She has been strongly involved in consumer issues, being often present in media talking about these topics. Her work in the European Parliament has been very visible and this is probably why she received a lot of support in the 2009 elections. She is a member of the Christian Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People’s Party, part of the European People’s Party and is vice-chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection. (Source: Wikipedia and private research)
> Possible portfolios: Consumer Protection, Enterprise and Industry, Internal Market

Milena Vicenová - WikipediaMilena Vicenová is Czech Ambassador to the EU took up the post in 2008. After working in several private and state administration posts, she was named the first Minister of Agriculture in the government of Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek in 2006. She speaks five languages and is mainly supported by ODS (centre-right), one of the two main parties in the caretaker administration in Czech Republic. (Source: private research)
> Possible portfolios: Multilingualism, Institutional Relations and Communication Strategy, Administrative Affairs, Audit and Anti-Fraud

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nominatedConnie Hedegaard - CC / FlickrConnie Hedegaard has been the Danish Minister for Climate and Energy since November 2007 and was the Danish Minister for the Environment from August 2004 until November 23, 2007. She is a member of the Conservative People’s Party, and was a member of the parliament (Folketing) from 1984 until 1990. She has also been a member of the Folketing since the 2005. Prior to becoming a minister, she worked as a journalist at DR, the Danish national broadcaster. (Source: Wikipedia)
> Possible portfolios: Environment, Energy, Climate Change, Fisheries

Ulla Tørnæs is Ulla Tørnæs - hebster, commons.wikipedia.orgMinister for Development Cooperation of Denmark. She is a member of the Liberal Party and, since 1994, of the Danish parliament (Folketing). She served as Minister for Education in the Cabinet of Anders Fogh Rasmussen I (2001–2005) and switched to her current position when the Cabinet of Anders Fogh Rasmussen II was appointed on 18 February 2005. (Source: Wikipedia)
> Possible portfolios: Education, Youth and Culture, Development

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Kristiina Ojuland - CC / FlickrKristiina Ojuland was the foreign minister of Estonia from 2002 until 2005. She is a member of the Estonian Reform Party. Since June 2009 she has been a Member of the European Parliament where she sits on the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and since 2007 she has been Vice President of the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party (ELDR). (Source: Wikipedia)
> Possible portfolios: Enlargement, Neighbourhood Policy

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Astrid Thors - CC / FlickrAstrid Thors has been Minister of Migration and European Affairs in Finland since 2007, having previously served as a Member of the European Parliament between 1996 and 2004. Thors is a Swedish speaking Finn and a member of the Swedish People’s Party, currently in the governing coalition in Helsinki and part of the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party (ELDR) in Europe. (Source: Government of Finland, Wikipedia)
> Possible portfolios: Agriculture, Environment

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Christine Lagarde - WikipediaChristine Lagarde is the current Minister of Economic Affairs, Industry and Employment, appointed in June 2007. She was previously Minister of Agriculture and Fishing and Minister of Trade. Lagarde is the first woman ever to become minister of Economic Affairs of a G8 economy. A noted antitrust and labour lawyer, she previously made history as the first female chairman of the international law firm Baker & McKenzie. She is a member of the UMP Party. (Source: Wikipedia)
> Possible portfolios: Internal Market, Economic and Monetary Affairs

Elisabeth Guigou - Photo © Jean-Charles Gesquière, ministère de la Justice, sourced on WikipediaÉlisabeth Guigou was Minister of Eureopean Affairs (1990-1993), during the campaign on the Maastricht Treaty, before she was elected to the European Parliament in 1994. In 1997, she was elected to the National Assembly and entered incoming Prime Minister Lionel Jospin‘s cabinet, as Minister of Justice (1997-2000) and then as Minister of Employment (2000-2002). She has been a member of the National Assembly since 2002 in Seine-Saint-Denis and was re-elected in 2007. Guigou is one of the 6 names rumoured to be on a Party of European Socialists shortlist of candidates for the EU High Representative for Foreign Policy position created by the Treaty of Lisbon. (Source: Wikipedia, Europolitics)
> Possible portfolios: High Representative for Foreign Policy, Justice, Freedom and Security, Employment and Social Affairs

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Angelika Niebler - CSU EuropagruppeAngelika Niebler is a German politician and Member of the European Parliament for Bavaria with the Christian Social Union and the CSU’s leader in Brussels. She has been a MEP since 1999 and she is also a Member of the Bureau of the European People’s Party. She sits on the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, and its Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality. (Source: Wikipedia)
> Possible portfolios: Enterprise and Industry, Science and Research

Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger - WikipediaSabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger is a German politician of the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP). She served as Federal Minister of Justice of Germany from 1992 to 1996 in the cabinet of Helmut Kohl, and holds the office again in the Second Cabinet Merkel from 2009. As one of the most experienced German politicians on legal affairs she has been part of the development of the EU’s justice and civil liberties agenda from a national level. She is also a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. (Source: Wikipedia, politician’s own website)
> Possible portfolios: Justice, Freedom and Security

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nominatedMaria_DamanakiMaria Damanaki is is a Greek politician, former president of the Synaspismos party of the radical left and currently a state member of the Hellenic Parliament within the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK). From 1977 to 1993 she was consistently elected member of the Hellenic Parliament, first with the Communist Party and then with Synaspismos, a new party of the left she helped to create. In 2003 she joined PASOK, undertaking many critical tasks of the opposition and parliamentary work. Currently, Damanaki is the coordinator of education and culture issues of PASOK. Maria Damanaki is also the writer of two books “The female face of power” (Το θηλυκό πρόσωπο της εξουσίας) in 1995 and “The return of Politics” (Η επιστροφή της Πολιτικής) in 2001, both in Greek. (Source: Wikipedia)
> Possible portfolios: Employment and Social Affairs, Education, Youth and Culture

Anna Diamantopoulou - WikipediaAnna Diamantopoulou is a Member of Parliament in Greece for the party of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), victors in the recent general election in Greece. She was appointed as Minister for Education, Lifelong Learning and Religious Affairs in the cabinet of George Papandreou. She is a former EU Commissioner, for Employment and Social Affairs, in the Prodi Commission, a post she held between 1999-2004. (Source: Wikipedia)
> Possible portfolios: Employment and Social Affairs, Education, Youth and Culture, Freedom Security and Justice

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Kinga Göncz is Kinga Göncz - CC / Flickra former Foreign Minister of Hungary (2006-2009) and is currently a Member of the European Parliament for MSZP, the Hungarian Socialist Party. In the European Parliament she is vice chair of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. She has also been a Political State Secretary of the Ministry for Health, Social and Family Affairs, Minister for Equal Opportunities and Minister of Youth, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities. (Source: Wikipedia, European Parliament)
> Possible portfolios: Justice, Freedom and Security, Health, Enlargement

Zita Gurmai - CC / FlickrZita Gurmai has been a Member of the European Parliament for the Hungarian Socialist Party since 2004, and since the 2009 elections is Vice Chair of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs in the European Parliament. She has been active in strengthening the activist work of the Party of European Socialists and has been chair of the PES Women’s Network since 2004. (Source: European Parliament)
> Possible portfolios: Employment and Social Affairs, Institutional Relations and Communication Strategy

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nominatedMáire Geoghegan-Quinn served Máire Geoghegan-Quinn - Galway Advertiseras a Fianna Fáil member of parliament for the Galway West constituency from 1975 to 1997, before retiring from politics at the 1997 general election. She became a non-executive director of Aer Lingus and a journalist, writing a column for The Irish Times. In 1999 she was appointed to the European Court of Auditors and was appointed for a second term at the Court of Auditors in March 2006. She has been publicly tipped to become Ireland’s next European Commissioner in 2009. (Source: Wikipedia and Galway Advertiser)
> Possible portfolios: Budget, Administrative Affairs, Audit and Anti-Fraud

Mary Coughlan is Mary Coughlan - Wikipedia Free Documentation Licensean Irish Fianna Fáil politician. Since May 2008 she has been Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment. She has previously served as Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food and Minister for Social and Family Affairs. She has been a member of parliament for Donegal South West since 1987. (Source: Wikipedia)
> Possible portfolios: Trade, Internal Market, Enterprise and Industry

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Emma Bonino - CC / FlickrEmma Bonino is a former Commissioner for Health & Consumer Protection (1995-1999), a former Member of the European Parliament and current Member of the Italian Senate. She is a leading member of the Italian Radicals, a political party that supports economic and social libertarianism, and human rights. A veteran legislator in Italian politics and an activist for various reform policies, she was elected as one of four Vice Presidents of the Senate in 2008. (Source: Wikipedia)
> Possible portfolios: Health, Consumer Protection, Information Society and Media

Letizia Moratti - CC / FlickrLetizia Moratti is an Italian businesswoman and politician. She is the current mayor of Milan. Between 1994 and 1996 she was president of the Italian state television company RAI. From 2001 to 2006 she was Education Minister in the second and third Berlusconi cabinet. During her administration controversial reforms of the Italian school system and university teaching were passed. She ran as a candidate for Mayor of Milan in the 2006 municipal election as the House of Freedoms candidate. She won the election, with over 52% of the vote.
> Possible portfolios: Education, Youth and Culture

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Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga - CC / FlickrVaira Vīķe-Freiberga was the 6th President of Latvia and first female President anywhere in central and eastern Europe. She was elected first in 1999 and re-elected in 2003. During her time in office she was instrumental in achieving membership in the European Union and NATO membership for her country. She is active in international politics, was named Special Envoy to the Secretary General on United Nations reform and in December 2007 she was named vice-chair of the Reflection group on the long term future of the European Union. She is the only female candidate known to be in the running for the President of the European Council position created by the Treaty of Lisbon. (Source: Wikipedia, Robert Schuman Foundation)
> Possible portfolios: Enlargement, Administrative Affairs, Audit and Anti-Fraud, Neighbourhood Policy

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Laima Andrikienė - photo from politician's own websiteLaima Andrikienė (more from Laima’s own website) is a member of the European Parliament for the Homeland Union (Lithuanian Conservatives). She is also the member of European People’s Party. She has been a Member of the European Parliament since 2004 and is currently Vice Chair of the Sub Committee on Human Rights and a member of the Committee on International Trade. She has also previously been Minister of European Affairs in Lithuania. (Source: Wikipedia, politician’s own website)
> Possible portfolios: Trade, Internal Market

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nominatedViviane Reding - WikipediaViviane Reding is Commissioner for Information Society and Media in the outgoing Barroso Commission, having previously been Commissioner for Education, Youth and Culture in the Prodi Commission. Over the last 5 years she is best know for getting Member States to agree to price caps for mobile phone roaming charges. According to European Voice the government of Luxembourg is ready to nominate her again for a third term in the European Commission.
> Possible portfolios: Internal Market, Enterprise and Industry, Transport

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Joanna Drake - photo © European CommissionJoanna Drake is a former head of the European Commission’s Delegation to Malta and is now serving as Director for the Promotion of Competitiveness of SMEs in the European Commission. She has been involved in EU matters throughout her career – during Malta’s accession process, in the Maltese Embassy in Brussels and now in the European Commission. (Source: Malta Business Weekly)
> Possible portfolios: Enlargement, Internal Market, Regional Development

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nominatedNeelie Kroes - WikipediaNeelie Kroes has been European Commissioner with the Competition Portfolio since 2004 and she has announced her intention to serve for a second term, although no decision has yet been taken by the Balkenende government about this issue. She is a member of the VVD Liberal Party in the Netherlands, a member party of the ELDR. A website has been established to make the case for her re-nomination: Neelie Nog Een Keer! (Source: Wikipedia, Twitter @jeaninehennis)
> Possible portfolios: Competition, Internal Market

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Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz - WikipediaHanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz has been Mayor of Warsaw since 2006 and is one of the most prominent female politicians in Poland. She is a member of the Civic Platform Party of Prime Minister Donald Tusk. Between 1992 and 2000 she was the Chairman of the National Bank of Poland. She resigned to take a position of the Deputy Chairman of European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, a position she held between 2001 and 2004. She was elected to Sejm in 2005 in the 19th Warsaw district. (Source: Wikipedia)
> Possible portfolios: Economic and Monetary Affairs, Regional Development, Taxation and Customs Union

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Monica Macovei - WikipediaMonica Macovei is a Romanian politician, lawyer and former prosecutor, currently a Member of the European Parliament from the Democratic Liberal Party. She was the Minister of Justice of Romania in the first cabinet of Prime Minister Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu. In this position she was credited with implementing justice reforms that helped Romania enter the European Union on January 1, 2007. (Source: Wikipedia)
> Possible portfolios:Justice, Freedom and Security, Budgets, Taxation and Customs Union

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Monika FLAŠÍKOVÁ BEŇOVÁMonika Flašíková-Beňová is one of the founders of SMER, the social democratic party in Slovakia of Robert Fico. She served as Vice President of the party between 2000 and 2004. She is currently a Member of the European Parliament, Vice President of the S&D Group in the Parliament, and a member of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. (Source: European Parliament)
> Possible portfolios: Multilingualism, Education, Youth and Culture

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Katarina Kresal - WikipediaKatarina Kresal is the current Minister of the Interior in Slovenia. She entered politics in 2007, when she was elected as a compromise candidate for the president of the Liberal Democracy Party of Slovenia. In the Slovenian parliamentary election, 2008, she was elected to the National Assembly. In November of the same year, she became Minister of Interior of the centre left government of Borut Pahor. She is known for her effective performances in the media in Slovenia. (Source: Wikipedia)
> Possible portfolios: Information Society and Media, Justice, Freedom and Security, Institutional Relations and Communication Strategy

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María Teresa Fernández de la Vega - WikipediaMaría Teresa Fernández de la Vega is a Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) politician, and since 18 April 2004 the First Vice President, Minister of Presidency and Minister-Spokerperson of the Cabinet in the government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. She is the first woman ever to hold the First Vice President position. She is the most senior female politician in Spain. (Source: Wikipedia)
> Possible portfolios: Institutional Relations and Communication Strategy

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nominatedCecilia Malmström - WikipediaCecilia Malmström is currently Minister of European Affairs in the government of Fredrik Reinfeldt. Malmström is a member of the Folkpartiet (Liberals), a junior coalition partner in the government. She has been instrumental in the preparations for Sweden’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union. She was a Member of the European Parliament between 1999 and 2006, working on Foreign Affairs matters. In Brussels she is best known as the initiator of the One Seat petition, a website campaigning against the Strasbourg seat of the European Parliament. (Source: Wikipedia, Jon Worth)
> Possible portfolios: Development, Neighbourhood Policy, Institutional Relations and Communication Strategy

Gunilla Carlsson - CC / FlickrGunilla Carlsson is Minister for Development Cooperation in the Swedish Government. She is a member of the Moderaterna party, the senior coalition party in the government. In September 2009 she led, together with Karel De Gucht, Europe’s Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, a delegation to Zimbabwe for discussions with President Robert Mugabe. This was to discuss the lifting of targeted EU sanctions against him and more than 200 of his political allies and related businesses. (Source: Wikipedia)
> Possible portfolios: Development, Trade, Internal Market, Budget

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nominatedCathy Ashton is Cathy Ashton - Wikipediaa British Labour politician who is currently serving as the European Trade Commissioner, having replaced Peter Mandelson in 2008. It is widely assumed that she will be re-nominated to serve a full term in the Commission in the event that David Milband does not become High Representative for Foreign Policy. Ashton served previously as Leader of the House of Lords and in a number of ministerial roles in UK government between 1999 and 2008. (Source: Wikipedia)
> Possible portfolios: Trade, Internal Market, Consumer Protection

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We’re not looking for a female candidate for Portugal as José Manuel Barroso has already been formally approved by the European Parliament.

Are we missing some names? If so please let us know by using the comments field below.

32 Responses to Female Commissioners

Philippe Bossin

November 16th, 2009 at 16:28

For Belgium: Isabelle Durant. Former federal minister of transportation and current MEP for the Walloon Green Party Ecolo.

Jon Worth

November 16th, 2009 at 16:29

We did consider her, but thought the chances the government would nominate her were slim to none. Wdyt?

Philippe Bossin

November 16th, 2009 at 16:54

Oh ok, but in that case I’m not sure Anne van Lancker has a chance either. The sp.a, her party, is an opposition party at federal level.

Karen M McCormack

November 16th, 2009 at 17:31

Mary Coughlan is a bit accident prone to say the least, and would probably make McCreevy look competent I don’t think she could be considered a quality candidate. Considering during Lisbon 1 she stated in public that Germany had 2 commissioners among other gaffs.

Jon Worth

November 16th, 2009 at 17:32

I think she can stay in for the moment… but is Máire Geoghegan-Quinn better? Or are there others?

Eurosocialist » Blog Archive » And now, introducing… the all women’s European Commission!

November 16th, 2009 at 17:38

[…] Try and think again. It’s actually so easy to do that just four random citizens came up with a list of at least one woman per country, in just 36 hours. Governments can’t be bothered to find female candidates, civil society […]

Peter Strempel

November 17th, 2009 at 05:33

As for Austrian candidates, I would like to ad Gertrude Tumpel-Gugerell. She is currently a member of the European Central Bank’s Executive Board and was before Vice-Governor of Austria’s National Bank. She’d certainly be more than qualified. Check http://www.ecb.int/ecb/orga/decisions/html/cvtumpel-gugerell.en.html


November 17th, 2009 at 10:13

Italian Minister Mariastella Gelmini now is pregnant.
Birth expected by march 2010!

Jon Worth

November 17th, 2009 at 10:16

Hmmm, that probably rules her out for now then… Any other possible nominees for Italy?


November 17th, 2009 at 10:58

Well, being pregnant does not make you incompetent or inable to work… And she could well take a maternity leave even as a Commissioner, after, women at the top should give the example !
So don’t rule out for that reason please !

Jon Worth

November 17th, 2009 at 11:00

True, sorry, but I suspect that maternity leave for Commissioners is as rubbish as it is for MEPs… but that’s a further issue.

A Gender Balanced EU Commision

November 17th, 2009 at 11:04

[…] 2. suggesting possible female candidates from your home country […]


November 17th, 2009 at 11:06

Hard to say, women arent well represented. I can think of the most popular women.
In the actual Government (right-wing) not many women Ministers, they are young at their first experience, I would think of Stefania Prestigiacomo.
Emma Bonino is a good choice but the relations with PM Berlusconi became very bad in the last years.
For the left-wing I might suggest Rosi Bindi but she just became president of her party. Or Livia Turco (as D’Alema, she’s a post-communist).
If I think about current long-time MEPs, there’re a few you can better evaluate then me.
Among non-politician harder to say… maybe there are valuable women but not popular at all.


November 17th, 2009 at 11:08

I think our new Swedish commissioner, Cecilia Malmstroem, did take MEP maternity leave a few years ago, didn’t she ?

Jon Worth

November 17th, 2009 at 11:11

She just took leave… and you cannot put in a substitute for the time. See this about Silvana Koch Mehrin.

@Laura – thanks for the tips!

Eva Kaluzynska

November 17th, 2009 at 11:45

Bring Glenys Kinnock back as COMMISSIONER for the UK!

Maria Weimer

November 17th, 2009 at 11:54

Geoghegan-Quinn nominated to European Commission



November 17th, 2009 at 12:10

@Marianne. Minister Gelmini said she’s pregnant and she will not take any maternity leave arrangements. Minister Prestigiacomo had been pregnant as well, her baby was born short time later she became first time minister.


November 17th, 2009 at 13:27

Baroness Vadera for the UK is a name being bandied about???

Desmond O'Toole

November 17th, 2009 at 16:09

The Irish government has today annnounced that Máire Geoghegan-Quinn (currently serving on the Court of Auditors) will be Ireland’s nominee to the European Commission.

The respected journalist, Fintan O’Toole, writing in today’s Irish Times (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2009/1117/1224258981922.html) comments that although Máire is “capable, intelligent and articulate”, when Minister for Justice she operated a “parallel system of justice” whereby court sentences were routinely set aside at the request of members of parliament. Her behaviour in office led to the High Court criticising this misuse of power and demanding an end to political interference in the administration of justice in Ireland.

The choice of Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, therefore, is not exactly inspiring. The question is being asked in Dublin whether she is being nominated, following Barosso’s request for a woman candidate, in order to help secure a more senior portfolio for the Irish commissioner than would otherwise be likely.

Desmond O’Toole
PES activists Dublin (personal capacity)

Stephen Spillane – Geoghegan-Quinn for Europe

November 17th, 2009 at 19:16

[…] Sweden (Cecilia Malmström) […]


November 18th, 2009 at 06:37

Christine Lagarde, Minister of Finance in France is one of the most powerful and brilliant women I have ever heard. Sorry for the French if they lose her for local politics but I think it would be a major achievement for Europe as a whole is she became EU Commissioner.
Teresa Fernandez de la Vega (aka de la Vogue due to her only concern about image over true work and effectiveness) cannot be compared to the rest of the candidates. It would be an insult for the candiates.

Tom FitzGerald

November 18th, 2009 at 07:28

Geoghegan- Quinn is not a bad choice… she has shown some bottle in the past and was couragous in implementation of socially enlightened policies, which, comming from a conservative political party took some doing!

In broad terms while not condoning the appointment of persons on the basis of gender a little affermative action would be appropriate when you see that sea of grey men in grey suits in Commission “family”photographs!

Vive la guere et la difference!

Tom FitzGerald
Citizen of the EU

Dániel Fehér

November 18th, 2009 at 07:42

Germany: Ursula von der Leyen, German Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth actually wanted to be nominated and would have been a good choice in every respect. Unfortunately, Merkel did not want her to leave as she had no substitute for her in the cabinet. The man she eventually nominated was obviously easier to replace 😉

Unfortunately esp. big member states have no interest in a strong Commission, so they avoid sending heavyweights (men or women) to Brussels…

Dániel Fehér

November 18th, 2009 at 07:55

Hungary: On the shortlist of the ruling socialist party, 2 out of 5 candidates were actually women: MEP Edit Herczog (Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee 2004-09, Budget Committee 2009-, SME working group, Lisbon Strategy working group) and Deputy Defense Secretary Ágnes Vadai.

Nevertheless, being very active party politicians, none of them would have been really an ideal choice, and the same goes for Göncz and Gurmai, although I respect both of them. The socialist party is running a minority government and is expected to be swept out of power big time next spring, they’re fighting for survival (got 17,4% at the EP elections this June). Therefore, public opinion and opposition parties would not have accepted a party politician as candidate, which would have weakened Hungary’s chances to get an influential portfolio (as Kovács’s nomination did in 2004).

Hard to think of female candidates therefore who are 1. qualified, 2. not party politicians but close enough to the socialists.


November 18th, 2009 at 10:33

Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger from Germany is now a Minister in Germany itself and can therefore not become a Comissioner in Brussels…

Sonsoles Rosende

November 18th, 2009 at 12:05


Rosa Diez
Rosa Díez González (born May 27, 1952 in Güeñes, Biscay, Spain) is a Spanish politician. She is a former Member of the European Parliament for the PSOE (“Partido Socialista Obrero Español” or Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party), integrated in the Party of European Socialists.

In 2007 she gave up her seat and left the PSOE due to strong disagreement on what she perceived to be the Socialists’ drift on individual liberties, ETA, and more. Subsequently she founded a new political party, UPyD (“Unión, Progreso y Democracia” or Union, Progress and Democracy), based on an already existing movement. In 2008, she was elected to the Congress of Deputies (Spain) representing Madrid district.


November 18th, 2009 at 15:09

@ Miriam Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger could be moved to Berlin to Brussels, this happened to many (wo)men before: they were national ministers before being nominated as Commissioners

Benjamin Dauth

November 19th, 2009 at 09:38

Germany: Anyone but Oettinger would send the new government in a crisis. He just has to leave the country. only chance here would be to block a “male” commission by vote. Once there “arises a situation” Germoney likes to set even good examples.

Faut-il des femmes à la tête de l’UE ? Au-delà des statistiques, créons une Europe démocratique | European Alternatives

November 19th, 2009 at 12:57

[…] ce qu’on pensé quelques bloggeurs avertis en lançant la campagne en ligne : For a gender balanced commission ! Le blog propose des noms de ‘femmes compétentes’ dans une approche non partisane. Et la liste […]

  Goal achieved – 9 of the 27 nominees are women by Gender Balanced Commission

November 24th, 2009 at 13:27

[…] 7 nominations have all been women. So far the 9 are Jeleva, Vassiliou, Hedegaard, Danamaki, Geoghegan-Quinn, Reding, Kroes, Malmström, Ashton. Female candidates nominated so far are denoted by the small […]


November 24th, 2009 at 13:32

Great job people! I’ve been happy to give my little support!

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