The Czech EU commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Věra Jourová is trying to enforce the European gender quotas, saying that there should be at least forty percent of women among the board members of EU companies.
But Jourová who has started to negotiate on the issue immediately after she had taken over her function in the EU Commission has a problem: her country is strongly against the EU directive that has been adopted under the auspices of Jourová’s predecessor Vivian Reding in 2012.
Jourová should try to convince at least one part of the EU countries protesting against the directive, among others the Czech Republic. The Czech government will decide on the directive in the next days, but at least several ministers are, as to gender quotas, rather sceptical.
„In the next weeks, I will have a series of negotiations to help the directive to be approved,“ Jourová said to Aktuálně.cz. „There will be a key session of the EU Council in December that will show how real our expectations are.“
If she succeeds the directive could become valid next year. „In the EU Parliament, there is a decent support for it,“ Jourová stressed.
Among the Czech government members, the minister for human rights Jiří Dienstbier or the minister for labour and social affaires Michaela Marksová Tominová support the directive, but some of their colleagues are not especially enchanted by the idea.
„The mandatory quotas in the supervisory and administrative boards of the larger companies don’t represent a solution to the problem,“ the minister of culture Daniel Hermann said. „Any restriction of an equal access to functions, both elective and public, is anti-constitutional, discriminatory and factually wrong.“
„Although I’am trying to promote womens‘ rights and I’m supporting the removal of the differences between men and women all through my life, I’m not of the same opinion as those who want to determine strictly the number of men and women in various functions.“
Both Marksová Tominová and Dienstbier mean that the Czech Republic should not block the directive promoted by the Czech EU commissioner.
Objections to the EU directive expressed by Hermann, Válková and other ministers are inconsistent with the Czech government coalition declaration supporting the equal opportunities of men and women. Last week, the government of prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka has approved a strategy with the aim to enhance the women‘s quotas in the senior management positions to forty percent.