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The Hague Conference on Private International Law The Parentage/Surrogacy Project
The Hague Conference on Private International Law The « Parentage / Surrogacy Project » Intervention of a Grouping of Human Rights Non-Governmental Organizations In March 2015, we sent to the permanent Bureau a contribution showing that surrogacy is contrary to international human rights law and proposing the creation within the UN of a Convention on the International Abolition of Surrogacy. We also requested to be consulted as part of the current work of the HCCH, in order to represent the views of civil society. Since our contribution has not been taken into account so far, we ask once again for our arguments to be considered by the Experts’ Group on Parentage / Surrogacy. We ask for a radical change of perspective in the way the issue of surrogate motherhood is dealt with.
Trafficking of women for sexual exploitation….the fight goes on!
The National Council of Women strongly supports and looks forward to the proposed steps to be taken by the Office of the Attorney General and the Malta Police Force to review and propose reforms on current procedures concerning the identification of victims of human trafficking, before the initiation of prosecution proceedings.
No to the legalisation of prostitution!
The National Council of Women is very concerned with the proposal that once again is being put forward to debate legalising prostitution and it reiterates its position that such a law would be a confirmation that women are considered a commodity and that women's sexual favours are there for the taking as long as one pays!
International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women,
Vera Jourová, European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality has taken the initiative to dedicate 2017 to combating violence against women. But it requires the dedication of all of us: Member State national and local authorities, International Organisations, civil society organisations, academia, businesses, trade unions, police, health professionals, social care professionals and all European men and women to fight to make violence against women a thing of the past. More than an awareness-raising campaign, this initiative will support and engage all stakeholders in combatting this problem. Commissioner Jourová invites all to join these focused actions to combat violence against women, as it will be a concerted effort.
No to the legalisation of prostitution!
The National Council of Women is very concerned with the proposal that once again is being put forward to legalise prostitution.(Times of Malta 6.4.2016).Such a law would be a confirmation that women are a commodity and that women's sexual favours are there for the taking as long as one pays! This worst form of degradation of women is totally unacceptable.
The Right to Life of the Human Embryo - not a Commodity
Three years ago the Embryo Protection Act was enacted. As the name implies this law was specifically drawn to safeguard the rights of a new human being at its most vulnerable stage. Bringing a child into the world is not a right, either to a male or female who wish to become a parent, because in so doing they might be ignoring the rights of the third person in this equation- the child.
WOMEN: Maternity leave - MEPs call for progress
Brussels, 07/05/2015 (Agence Europe) - The committee on women's rights and gender equality has urged the Council of Ministers to resume negotiations on maternity leave.
WOMEN: Jourova determined to adopt maternity leave directive
Brussels, 05/03/2015 (Agence Europe) - On Thursday 5 March, the European Commissioner for Gender Equality, Vera Jourova, stated: “Europe is a good address for women, but there are still gaps in gender equality, which means lots of work for us”. The Commissioner made her comments at a press conference organised at the European Parliament on the most recent annual Commission report on inequality between men and women.
WOMEN: Parliament and Commission urge Council to agree on quota project
Brussels, 14/01/2015 (Agence Europe) - The Commission and European Parliament are urging the Latvian presidency of the Council of the EU to ensure that a consensus is obtained from member states on the European quota project. This project seeks to ensure that the boards of directors in major European companies quoted on the stock exchange have at least 40% of their members who are women.
Scheme for business start-ups by mothers with young children wins top prize at EEPA 2014
Scheme for business start-ups by mothers with young children wins top prize at EEPA 2014 The seven winners of the 8th edition of European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) were announced today. The Grand Jury Prize winner came from Hungary. The project, Encouraging Business Start-ups by Mothers with Young Children, helps mothers to acquire the entrepreneurial skills and mind-set needed to start a business and run it successfully.
(AE) WOMEN: Jourova and Thyssen should put maternity leave on agenda
Umea, 25/09/2014 (Agence Europe) - The draft directive on maternity leave, which the European Commission is threatening to withdraw, is expected to be a priority for future Commissioners Vera Jourova and Marianne Thyssen - in charge of equal opportunities and employment respectively.
(AE) WOMEN: Women up by 1% on boards of directors
Stockholm, 25/09/2013 (Agence Europe) - The average share of women on the boards of the largest publicly listed companies in the EU rose to 18.6% in April 2014 from 17.8% in October 2013. These new statistics were released on Wednesday 24 September by the European Commission.
Peace Statement
In 2014, it is poignant that we commemorate the start of the first World War in 1914, with all its suffering and horrors. Yet, a century on, we still have so many current conflict zones around the globe, which are no less horrific.
Council of Europe on Domestic Violence
Brussels, 29/07/2014 (Agence Europe) - On Monday 28 July, Anne Brasseur, the president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) stated: “On 1 August 2014, a new stage in the protection of human rights will begin in Europe: the Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence will enter into force in 11 Council of Europe member states”. In France and Sweden, this convention will be in force from 1 November 2014.
COMMISSION: One female and twelve male commissioners so far
Brussels, 28/07/2014 (Agence Europe) - With only 13 commissioners officially designated, Jean-Claude Juncker's future team is taking shape very slowly and is facing a number of obstacles, relating both to issues of gender and to those nominated
Female EU Commissioners call for more women in Juncker's new team
Barroso II female commissioners sign letter supporting call for at least 10 women to be nominated by member states.
Europolitics' staff contributed to this article on women EU Commissioners
Jean-Claude Juncker is losing patience. The political groups in the European Parliament are becoming threatening. All eyes are on the capitals, with one question: where are the women politicians who could be named European commissioners? Not all the member states - far from it -, which have sole responsibility for these decisions, seem resolved to play the hand of gender parity.
EMISCO Press Release on Gaza Situation
Normally, EMISCO-European Initiative for social cohesion does not take sides in territorial conflicts, condemn or support any given country nor do we issue statements of intent in political disputes outside Europe. We work for the socio-economic, cultural and religions rights of the Muslim communities as well as the betterment of relations among various ethnic and religious groups who live in Europe. But when a far away conflict in the Middle East reaches European shores and causes disharmony, violence – verbal and physical – and disturbs peaceful living, we cannot stay silent. EMISCO is very worried that the increased violence, indiscriminate
SEXUAL VIOLENCE: Reminder of EU action against this scourge
Brussels, 16/06/2014 (Agence Europe) - During a summit on sexual violence in conflict areas, which took place in London, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton recalled, on Thursday 12 June, the EU's action against this.
Summer English Language Courses for the Family
English Language Courses start on Tuesday 1st July 2014 till Tuesday 16th September. Children who have reached the 4th, 5th and 6th year of primary and 1st and 2nd of secondary may accompany the adults. The course is free of charge with a donation of €2 per adult for photocopies, tea,coffee and biscuits. For further information and booking contacted NCW office on 21248881/21246982
Gender equality: EU action triggers steady progress
In 2013 the European Commission continued taking action to improve equality between women and men, including steps to close the gender gaps in employment, pay and pensions discrepancies, to combat violence and to promote equality in decision-making.
Violence against Women: every day and everywhere
A new report by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights(FRA) presents results from the world's biggest-ever survey on violence against women, revealing the extent of abuse suffered by women at home, work, in public and online.
Yes to 40% quota of women on boards of directors
Strasbourg, 20/11/2013 (Agence Europe) - The European Parliament has given a boost to meritocracy in businesses with its approval, by very large majority (459 votes to 148, with 81 abstentions) of the introduction of a quota of 40% of women on the boards of directors of large European companies quoted on the stock exchange, of which there are around 5,000, in 2020.
MEDITERRANEAN: Activists call on EU for a different political message
Brussels, 19/09/2013 (Agence Europe) - Sounding the alert on worsening conditions for women in the southern countries of the Mediterranean, women's rights activists called on the European Union, on 18 September, to change its message to these countries.
UFM: Conference on women's rights and against sexual violence
Brussels, 13/09/2013 (Agence Europe) - Over 20 ministers from the 43 countries of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), and various women's representatives, met in Paris on 12 September for a conference on strengthening the role of women in Euro-Mediterranean society. High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton also attended.
EP stresses need for response to salary gap
Brussels, 13/09/2013 (Agence Europe) -MEPs are urging the member states to do all in their power to reduce the salary gap between men and women, which is still around 16% on average in Europe. On Thursday 12 September, they adopted a resolution to this effect drafted by MEP Edit Bauer (EPP Slovakia). The salary gap also has long-term negative fallout for women on the employment market, their pension levels and exposure to poverty.
Stop trivialising violence against women
Stop trivialising violence against women The National Council of Women, once again raises serious concerns on the case of violent sexual assault carried out on Ms Shanti Shresta Achami, (Sunday Times 9thJune). The Council has for many years been publicly questioning Court sentences that unfortunately are not perceived as reflecting the seriousness of the crime of sexual assault or other cases of violence against women.
Women on Boards: Vice-President Viviane Reding and Markus Klimmer, Managing Director at Accenture di
Vice-President Viviane Reding, the EU's Justice Commissioner, met with Markus Klimmer, Managing Director at Accenture, today to discuss how best to improve gender balance on company boards.
NCW congratulates Maltese Women MEPs
The National Council of Women welcomes the news that three women have been elected as MEPs, giving women a 50% presence amongst the six Maltese MEPs.
WOMEN: 59 days in 2013 before equal remuneration in Europe
Dublin, 01/03/2013 (Agence Europe) - It is only from 28 February this year that women in Europe started to earn the same salary as men. An additional 59 days are therefore needed for women to reduce the pay gap - which this year still stands at 16.2% according to figures published by the European Commission.
(AE) WOMEN: Consultation and future action on genital mutilation
Brussels, 13/02/2013 (Agence Europe) -European Commissioner for Fundamental Rights Viviane Reding is preparing to launch a public consultation and concrete initiatives to tackle female genital mutilation in March. During the period of the consultation, a conference, organised with other Commissioners, on the fight against violence against women will be held.
AE) WOMEN: Already more women on company boards after quota proposal
Brussels, 25/01/2013 (AgenceEurope) - The European Commission believes that its controversial proposal on a quota of women on company boards could be bearing fruit. It notes that in less than a year, twice as many women are now on company boards in Europe, with a significant increase in the large majority of member states. Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Viviane Reding seized the moment to present these encouraging results to the World Economic Forum in Davos on Friday 25 January.
WOMEN: 50/50 declaration for parity in institutions after 2014
Brussels, 22/11/2012 (Agence Europe) - MEPs are now ready to do battle to defend equality in the European institutions after the 2014 elections. A “multi-party” declaration was presented on Wednesday 22 November at the European Parliament during the plenary session.
(AE) WOMEN: Parliamentary pressure to counter domestic violence
Brussels, 19/11/2012 (Agence Europe) - Five MEPs are putting pressure on the EU to ratify the international convention to prevent and combat violence against women. Mikael Gustafsson (GUE/NGL, Sweden), Barbara Matera (EPP, Italy), Antonya Parvanova (ALDE, Bulgaria), Raül Romeva (Greens/EFA, Spain) and Britta Thomsen (S&D, Denmark) are urging their colleagues to sign a written declaration in this connection. The declaration calls on the EU to ratify the Council of Europe convention on tackling domestic violence and violence against women. It also urges member states to subsequently take action against this phenomenon.
(AE) WOMEN: Nicosia progresses pay gap debate
Brussels, 31/10/2012 (Agence Europe) - The Cypriot Presidency is pushing the pay gap debate forwards - the difference in pay between men and women still being on average 16% in Europe. At a conference organised in Cyprus on this topic on 29-30 October, the Presidency concluded that the reduction of this pay gap comes through “promoting social dialogue and tripartite cooperation as a way of tackling this problem”.
(AE) WOMEN: Reding is snubbed - quotas deferred until mid-November Brussels, 23/10/2012 (Agence Euro
The quota of 40% women on bluechip company boards has been postponed, but Viviane Reding is determined not to give up her highly controversial proposal for a directive. She promises that the dossier will be back on the Commission agenda by the end of November, when it will be stronger and more open to subsidiarity. Reding, who is optimistic, said that after a century-long battle her proposal could wait another couple of weeks
(AE) WOMEN: Moment of truth for Reding and corporate quotas
Brussels, 22/10/2012 (Agence Europe) - The College of Commissioners may sweep away with one hand the proposal to bring in a 40% quota for women on management boards in European companies quoted on the stock exchange, a proposal that Commissioner Viviane Reding plans to submit on Tuesday.
Women - Reding bases argument on subsidiarity quotas
Brussels, 05/10/2012 (Agence Europe) - Viviane Reding, the commissioner responsible for justice, fundamental rights and citizenship, has already been able to get into her stride with regard to feminine quotas in large companies - ahead of time and on converted ground.
The EWL has written to the European Commission and Member States
The EWL has written to the European Commission and Member States in response to a letter signed by 9 countries against a proposed EU Directive to increase the number of women on boards across Europe. Although well below our expectations, the EWL is giving its full backing to Commissioner Reding’s proposal, and calling on all parties to do the same.
(AE) WOMEN: ECB, letter from Goulard to Juncker on parity
Brussels, 18/09/2012 (Agence Europe) - French liberal MEP, Sylvie Goulard, has directly addressed the president of Eurogroup, Jean-Claude Juncker, to again draw attention to the question of respecting equal opportunities for women when appointing the sixth member of the European Central Bank board of governors. The economic and financial committee, of which Goulard is a member, effectively suspended the hearing of Yves Mersch for a post on the board of governors, due to the lack of gender balance on the board.
(AE) WOMEN: Greens favour quotas and hit back at nine blocking states
Brussels, 20/09/2012 (Agence Europe) - The Greens are hitting back at the intention of nine member states not to support Viviane Reding's awaited proposal on setting a quota of 40% women on the boards of bluechip companies.
Women on Boards: Viviane Reding meets with leaders of Europe's business schools and industry
On the 19 June, EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding met with European Industry Associations, European Business Schools and Senior Executive Women to discuss progress being made on improving the gender balance in company boardrooms.
The National Council of Women supports the Act to provide protection for human embryos
NCW has always advocated for legislation of alternative IVF treatment not least because of the sensitivity and the consequences for both parents and society if it had to remain unregulated. NCW believes that IVF treatment should be for heterosexuals within a stable family environment The Council has always supported the protection of embryos as the first cell of a human life and, with the development of alternative treatment over the past years this has become possible successfully.
WOMEN: Campaign to get more women into scientific careers
Brussels, 22/06/2012 (Agence Europe) - Science is also a “girl thing”. That is the message the Commission intends to drive home throughout the EU over the next three years to get more girls interested in science and encourage more women to choose research as a career.
Women on Boards: Vice-President Viviane Reding meets with leaders of Europe's business schools and i
Today, EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding met with European Industry Associations, European Business Schools and Senior Executive Women to discuss progress being made on improving the gender balance in company boardrooms.
UfM adopts new project to support women’s empowerment in the Mediterranean
A project aimed at developing women’s empowerment in the Mediterranean through the development of effective field projects and the setting up of networks and platforms, was adopted by Senior Officials of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) at a meeting held last month.
Date: 30/07/2014

Europolitics' staff contributed to this article on women EU Commissioners

Jean-Claude Juncker is losing patience. The political groups in the European Parliament are becoming threatening. All eyes are on the capitals, with one question: where are the women politicians who could be named European commissioners? Not all the member states - far from it -, which have sole responsibility for these decisions, seem resolved to play the hand of gender parity.

To date, 11 states have already named their candidate (Germany, Cyprus, Spain, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta and Slovakia) and all are men. For the 16 states left (Luxembourg being the exception with the designation of a man, Juncker), the designation of women candidates remains very uncertain.

Although politics in Europe is largely dominated by men, it would be very easy to reverse the trend. Europolitics' staff went out to talk to the experts and to collect and cross-check information. Today, it presents the result of this work: a list of 70 women perfectly worthy of becoming European commissioners.

The criteria for the list include education and political career. For each country, Europolitics opted for candidates close to governments or coalitions in office. The list would probably be twice as long if all potential candidates had been included, but pragmatism prevailed in the choices.

The result? The exercise brings to light the fact that it is apparently very difficult for women to emerge as political leaders in Hungary and Latvia. Apart from these two countries, the list is eloquent. Multilingual women, deputy prime ministers, ministers, senior officials, leading MPs: there is no lack of resources.

Nine women were appointed to the Barroso II Commission in 2009. Not all stood out during the last five years, but no one would argue that all their male colleagues will leave an indelible imprint either.

In any case, the choice exists and it is not too late to make it. The new Europe will not be built without new faces, including women's faces if possible. After all, more than half of Europeans are women.

Europolitics' list:


Doris Bures, 51 (SPÖ/S&D). Minister for transport, innovation and technology since 2008. She previously held the women, media and public service portfolio.

Maria Fekter, 58 (ÖVP/EPP). Nicknamed "the Austrian iron lady," she was the first woman ever named finance minister in her country, a job she held from 2011 to 2013. She currently sits in Austria's parliament.

Ursula Plassnik, 58 (ÖVP/EPP). Foreign minister from 2004 to 2008, Plassnik is Austria's ambassador to France today. The post of OSCE secretary-general slipped through her fingers in 2011 due to Turkey's veto over Plassnik's opposition to its entry in the Union.

NB: The Austrian government is constituted of a coalition (ÖVP/EPP- SPÖ/S&D) led by Werner Faymann (SPÖ). Outgoing Commissioner Johannes Hahn (regional policy) is already confirmed for a second term.


Marianne Thyssen, 57 (CD&V/EPP). MEP since 2009 and former party leader, she is the favourite candidate to become a commissioner.

Maggie De Block, 52 (Open VLD/ALDE). Current state secretary for immigration and social inclusion, she was designated Woman of the Year in 2013 by the Belgian media.

Annemie Neyts, 70 (Open VLD/ALDE). MEP since 1994, she has been state secretary for the Brussels Region and junior foreign affairs minister.

Laurette Onkelinx, 55 (PS/S&D). First elected in 1987, she is a prominent player on the political scene. Currently deputy prime minister and minister for social affairs and health.

Annemie Turtelboom, 46 (Open VLD/ALDE). Former interior minister, she is minister for justice.

NB. Since the 25 May general elections, Belgium has had a caretaker government. The Flemish-Walloon dimension also influences the commissioner nomination. The outgoing Commissioner, Karel De Gucht (Flemish Liberal), is actively trying to remain in office (trade).


Irina Bokova, 61 (Socialist). Elected director-general of UNESCO in 2009, she was re-elected in October 2013 for a second term. She has also served as ambassador to France and Monaco.

Zinaida Zlatanova, 40 (Socialist). The former head of the European Commission Delegation in Bulgaria, she was named vice-minister president and justice minister in the centre-left government in 2013.

NB: The outgoing Commissioner (cooperation and humanitarian aid), Kristalina Georgieva, 61, is also a favourite for a second term. But the name of former President Sergei Stanishev, president of the Party of European Socialists, is also being mentioned.


Vesna Pusić, 61 (HNS/ALDE). Currently minister of foreign affairs, she led her country’s membership negotiations with the EU.

NB. Neven Mimica, the outgoing commissioner (consumer protection), has been renominated for a new Commission term.


Chrystalla Georghadji, 57. Governor of the Central Bank of Cyprus, she has never held a ministerial post.

Stella Kyriakides, 49 (Democratic Rally Party -DISY). She has never been named as a minister but is a member of the Cypriot parliament. She is known for her expertise in social affairs and health.

Zeta Emilianidou, 42, a senior official at the Trade Ministry. She is currently minister for labour and social insurance.

NB: Outgoing Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou (education, youth and multilingualism) is expected to be replaced by the current government spokesman, Christos Stylianides.


Hana Marvanova, 51 (Liberal). She recently resigned as deputy justice minister and has been leader of the Czech Liberal party. She has a high political profile and strong background in legal and consumer affairs.

Vera Jourova, 49 (ANO). She has been minister for regional development since January 2014.

NB: Stefan Füle, the outgoing commissioner, is in charge of enlargement and neighbourhood policy.


Christine Antorini, 49 (SocDem). Minister for education since October 2011.

Karen Haekkerup, 40 (SocDem). Minister for justice since December 2013. Previous ministerial posts were in agriculture and social affairs.

NB: Outgoing Commissioner Connnie Hedegaard (climate action) has no chance of being reappointed because of a change of government.


Laine Randjärv, 49 (Reform Party). The former mayor of Tartu, like Andrus Ansip, who appointed her as minister of culture (from 2007 to 2011), she currently serves as vice-president of Estonia's parliament.

NB: Former Prime Minister Ansip has already been named to replace Siim Kallas (transport).


Jutta Urpilainen, 38 (Social Democrat Party). Finance minister and vice-premier from 2011 to 2014 in the government of Conservative Jyrki Katainen.

Eva Biaudet, 53 (Swedish People's Party). Ombudsman for minorities since 2010, candidate in the 2012 presidential election, OSCE special representative on the issue of human trafficking, former minister for health and social affairs (1999-2000 and 2002-2003).

Sirpa Pietikäinen, 55 (Conservative Party). Environment minister from 1991 to 1995, MEP since 2008, former president of the World Federation of United Nations Associations.

NB: Olli Rehn, outgoing commissioner for economic and monetary affairs, has already been replaced by former Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen.


Ségolène Royal, 60 (PS/S&D). Minister for ecology and energy, ex-candidate in the presidential election and former partner of the president of the republic.

Elisabeth Guigou, 67 (PS/S&D). Former justice minister, she currently chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee at the National Assembly.

Pervenche Berès, 57 (PS/S&D). The former assistant to Laurent Fabius has spent her entire political career in Brussels as a member of the EP. She has chaired the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) and the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL).

NB: The candidate who appears to be the favourite at this stage to replace Michel Barnier (internal market and financial services) is former Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici.


Ursula von der Leyen, 55 (CDU/EPP).  First German female defence minister, she has also been labour and social affairs minister.

Ilse Aigner, 49 (CSU/EPP). Former federal agriculture minister, she is deputy minister-president and economy minister of Bavaria.

Andrea Nahles, 44 (SPD/S&D). Federal minister of labour and social affairs and SPD secretary-general.

Johanna Wanka, 63 (CDU/EPP). Federal minister for education and research, she was formerly minister of science and culture in Brandenburg and Lower Saxony.

Barbara Hendricks, 62 (SPD/S&D). Federal minister for the environment and nuclear safety, junior federal finance minister between 1998 and 2007.

NB: Angela Merkel has renominated the outgoing Commissioner, Günther Oettinger (energy).


Dora Bakoyannis, 60 (Democratic Alliance, right), trained as a political analyst. She is the daughter of former Prime Minister Constantinos Mitsotakis. She has been foreign minister, minister of culture and mayor of Athens.

Yanna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, 59, trained in law, nicknamed the "iron lady of Greece" because of her strong personality. She is a businesswoman and right-of-centre politician known internationally for having chaired the organising committee for the 2004 Greek Olympics in Athens.

NB: Maria Damanaki, outgoing commissioner for fisheries and maritime affairs, is not expected to be reappointed.


Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's inner circle in Hungary does not seem to include any women.

NB: Tibor Navracsics, minister for public administration and justice, is likely to be appointed as commissioner.



Mairead McGuinness, 55 (EPP). A former journalist, she has been an MEP since 2004 with strong expertise in agricultural policy and was recently elected a Parliament vice-president.

NB: Environment Minister Phil Hogan is expected to be nominated to replace Máire Geoghegan-Quinn (research and inoovation).


Federica Mogherini, 41 (Democratic Party/S&D). The current foreign minister is a novice in politics. Chosen by Matteo Renzi, she is one of the potential candidates for the job of EU high representative for foreign affairs, to succeed Catherine Ashton.

Roberta Pinotti, 53 (Democratic Party/S&D). She is defence minister in Matteo Renzi's government. Ex-state secretary in the government of Enrico Letta, she is the first woman to head this ministry.

NB: Outgoing Industry Commissioner Tonio Tajani, appointed by Silvio Berlusconi, has been elected as a member of the EP.


Sandra Kalniete, 61 (Unity). Former foreign minister (2002-2004) and commissioner for agriculture and fisheries in 2004 before being ousted by the Latvian government, she has been a member of the European Parliament since 2009.

Solvita Aboltina, 51 (Unity). Justice minister from 2004 to 2006, president of Latvia's parliament since 2010, she makes no secret of her interest in being named to the Commission.

NB: Former Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis is expected to replace Andris Piebalgs (development).


There are no credible names, apart from Dalia Grybauskaite, just re-elected president of the republic. The country has very few women ministers.

NB: Health Minister Vytenis Andriukaitis is likely to succeed Algirdas Semeta (taxation). Andriukaitis was designated by the Social Democrat Party, the leading party in office in Vilnius


Since the European Commission presidency is expected to go to Jean-Claude Juncker, no other name is under consideration at this stage.


Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, 55 (Labour Party). She became president of the Republic of Malta in April 2014, after sitting as a member of Malta's parliament from 1998 to 2014. She also served as minister for the family and social solidarity.

NB: Tourism Minister Karmenu Vella is likely to be named as Malta's next commissioner. He would succeed Tonio Borg (health).


Jeanine Antoinette Hennis-Plasschaert, 41 (CCD/ALDE). She is currently defence minister and is a former MEP.

Lilianne Ploumen, 51 (PvdA/S&D). She currently holds the job of minister for external trade and development.

NB: Two men are also in the race to succeed Neelie Kroes (Digital Agenda): Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans (to replace Catherine Ashton) and Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem.


Elzbieta Bienkowska, 50 (Civic Platform). Deputy prime minister, minister of infrastructure and development and former regional development minister.

Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, 61 (Civic Platform). Mayor of Warsaw, ex-president of the National Bank of Poland and former vice-president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Lena Kolarska-Bobinska, 66 (Civic Platform). Minister of science and higher education and former MEP.

NB: Radoslaw Sikorski, foreign affairs minister, is often cited as the possible high representative for foreign affairs or as successor to outgoing Budget Commissioner Janusz Lewandowski. Former Regional Affairs Commissioner Danuta Hübner is also mentioned.


Maria da Graca Carvalho, 59 (SDP). An MEP between 2009 and 2014, she was science minister in Barroso´s government.

Maria Luis Albuquerque, 46 (SDP). Currently finance minister.

Berta Cabral, 45 (SDP). First woman to serve as secretary of state in the Defence Ministry


Rovana Plumb, 54 (Social Democratic Party). A former MEP, she is minister of labour and social protection.

Corina Cretu, 47 (Social Democratic Party). MEP since 2007, she was spokesperson for the first democratically elected president.


Iveta Radicova, 57 (former member of Slovak Democratic and Christian Union-Democratic Party). Prime minister in 2010-2012, she has also been minister of defence and minister of labour.

Zuzana Zvolenska, 42 (Smer-SD). Health minister since 2012 and only female in cabinet.

Lucia ?itňanská, 50 (SDKU). Member of Slovak Republic’s National Council. Has been deputy prime minister and minister of justice.

NB: Outgoing Commissioner Marcos Sefcovic (institutional relations and administration) is expected to be renominated.


Alenka Bratusek, 44 (Positive Slovenia). A left-of-centre politician, she is a former prime minister of Slovenia.

Ljudmila Novak, 54 (New Slovenia/EPP). National politician and former member of the European Parliament. She was a member of the EP Committee on Culture and Education (CULT).

NB: Slovenia is holding early legislative elections on 13 July, which will no doubt influence the choice of the next commissioner set to replace Janez Potocnik (environment).


Esperanza Aguirre, 62 (Partido Popular). Former minister and president of the Madrid region, she is currently PP president in Madrid.

Ana Pastor, 56 (PP). Minister of public works and transport. She has had a solid career in Spanish ministries.

Luisa Fernanda Rudi, 63 (PP). Former MEP and president of Spain’s Chamber of Deputies. Currently president of the Aragon region.

Pilar del Castillo, 61 (PP). Former minister of culture and MEP since 2004. She has played an important role in telecommunications regulation.


Birgitta Ohlsson, 38 (Liberal Party). Minister for European affairs since 2010 (to succeed current Commissioner Cecilia Malmström), also in charge of consumer affairs and democratic issues.

Gunilla Carlsson, 51 (Conservative Party). Minister for cooperation from 2006 until she stepped down in 2013, MEP from 1995 to 2002, EPP vice-president from 2004 to 2006.

Catharina Elmsäter-Svärd, 48 (Conservative Party). Minister of transport and infrastructure since 2010 in the Conservative government of Fredrik Reinfeldt.

Lena Ek, 56 (Centrist Party). Environment minister since 2011, MEP from 2004 to 2011, trained in law.

Maud Olofsson, 58 (Centrist Party). Minister for economy and energy from 2006 to 2011 and former vice-premier, head of the Centrist Party (ex-Agrarian) from 2001 to 2011.


Theresa Villiers, 46 (Conservative). Secretary of state for Northern Ireland since 2012, previously transport minister. An MEP for six years.

Baroness Warsi, 43 (Conservative). Senior minister of state for foreign and Commonwealth affairs since 2012. Previously chair of the Conservative Party.

Caroline Spelman, 56 (Conservative). Previously secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs.

NB: Andrew Lansley, leader of the House of Commons and former health secretary, is tipped to replace Catherine Ashton as British commissioner.

Christophe Garach




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