My colleague Philippe Ricard wrote a fine piece in Monday’s Le Monde about the scarcity of women candidates for top positions in the European Union – not just the first full-time president and the new foreign policy high representative, but the next 27-member European Commission.
He made the point that if only a few women are nominated to the new Commission, the European Parliament is likely to cause real trouble when the nominees appear for their confirmation hearings, expected to start in December. The legislature does not have the legal authority to reject individual nominees, but in 2004 it demonstrated that it had the political strength to force their withdrawal when it torpedoed the appointment of Rocco Buttiglione, an Italian conservative, as justice commissioner. Moreover, the parliament does have the legal power to reject the Commission in its entirety – the so-called “nuclear option”. Read more