European Parliament Elections June 2009

The people of Europe will elect the next European Parliament in June 2009. Currently 70% of the Members of the European Parliament are men. You can participate in the 50/50 Campaign by asking the political parties in your country to take gender equality into account when they draft candidate lists for the elections.

How it works

The European Parliament (EP) is elected every five years by the people of Europe to represent their interests. The main job of Parliament is to pass European laws. It shares this responsibility with the Council of the European Union, and the proposals for new laws come from the European Commission. The Parliament and the Council also share joint responsibility for approving the EU’s €100 billion annual budget.

The next EP elections will take place in all EU Member States in June 2009. Women’s representation within the European Parliament has been increasing steadily since the first direct election of the EP in 1979 but still 30 years later we are far from reaching the equal representation of women and men.

The number of women elected reflects the number and ranking of women on the candidate lists of political parties at the national level: the lesser the proportion of women on the list, the lesser women will be elected; if all women are put at the bottom of the list, they won’t have a chance to be elected either!

Decisions on the composition of the candidate lists for the European Parliament elections are made at national level within each political party.

Action needed

Please put pressure right now on all national political parties and require them to ensure the equal representation and ranking of women and men on their electoral lists and to include gender equality as a priority in their programmes.

You can use the model lobbying letter we have prepared.

Letters sent to European Political Party Leaders and their answers

Please find below a list of letters that we have sent to the European Political Party leaders asking them to support the European Women’s Lobby’s 50/50 Campaign for Democracy. The letters posted on this blog are the ones to which we have not yet received a response.

The President of the Party of European Socialists, Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, has answered positively to our letter and is a prominent supporter of the 50/50 Campaign for Democracy. We will keep you updated of the responses that we receive from the other party leaders as well.

The first letters were sent in 2008 and reminder letters have been sent during January 2009.

Letter sent to the European Democratic Party (30 October 2008)
Reminder letter sent to the European Democratic Party (26 January 2009)

Letter sent to the European Free Alliance (30 October 2008)
Reminder letter sent to the European Free Alliance (26 January 2009)

Letter sent to the European Green Party (9 October 2008)
Reminder letter sent to the European Green Party (26 January 2009)

Letter sent to the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party (9 October 2008)
Reminder letter sent to the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party (26 January 2009)

Letter sent to the European Left (30 October 2008)
Reminder letter sent to the European Left (26 January 2009)

Letter sent to the European People’s Party (26 September 2008)
Reminder letter sent to the European People’s Part (27 January 2009)

Letter sent to the Union for Europe of the Nations Group (6 October 2008)
Reminder letter sent to the Union for Europe of the Nations Group (27 January 2009)

Contact details of national political parties

European People’s Party
European Socialist Group
Group for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE)
Group of the Greens / European Free Alliance
Union for Europe of the Nations
Confederal Group of the European United Left – Nordic Green Left
Independence / Democracy Group

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