I am writing this post due to the fact that Finland´s broadcasting company YLE, which is funded through tax income, today announced that Finland´s upcoming Prime Minister Antti Rinne (Social Democrats) has promised that Finland´s next European Commissioner will be a female.
In its more than 24 years of membership in the European Union, Finland that joined the EU on January 1st 1995, has never before had a female European Commissioner.
Why does this matter?
Well, in the European Commission currently all major decisions are being made by 28 commissioners, one from each current EU member state. EU Commissioners hold the real power, and only 32 % of current EU commissioners are females. 68 % are males.
Antti Rinne, currently running negotiations to create a new government in Finland after the parliamentary elections held in April 2019, said on the YLE news today that it is about time for Finland to elect a female EU Commissioner to break the glass ceiling that has been holding back female candidates from powerful leadership positions for far too long. The EU Commissioner will be assigned by the upcoming government in Finland.
To achieve one of its main goals in addition to being a Union of peace, the European Union should take into consideration how equality, including gender equality, can be reached within the Union. Currently only 9 out of 28 commissioners are females. The vast majority of decisions concerning more than 512 million of inhabitants within the European Union are thus made by males. If we are going to build and to maintain an equal European Union, it is about time for its decision-makers to take into consideration the fact that at least 50 % (or more) of the EU´s members are females. Thus, the representation of females in the EU Commission should represent an equal share (at least 50 % females of Commissioners). How this will be organized is a minor problem to be solved by the European Commission. Rotation could be one possibility, as in the Chairmanship of the European Union.
The European Commission should not only consist of 50 % females and 50 % males, but also be willing to delegate and to share its power to for instance the European Parliament. If 28 people, one from each EU member state, make decisions on behalf of more than 512 million citizens within the European Union, we are far from democracy. If decision-making in the EU were more democratic, perhaps more people would be interested in voting in the EU Parliament elections in the first place. At the time being, it is a miracle that more than 51 % of citizens are interested enough to give their vote in the elections. In Finland, only 42,9 % of citizens with a right to vote gave their vote in the May 2019 EU parliament elections.
Anne-Maria Yritys 28.5.2019