Yet another setback for the feminist-cum-gender-ideology promoted by the Luxembourg Presidency.
In yesterday’s meeting of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council, Ministers discussed a re-furbished draft of a Commission proposal for a directive that would impose gender quotas for the boards of companies listed on the stock market. This proposal had been a pet project of then Commissioner Viviane Reding, and it was one of the social policy priorities of Luxembourg for its ongoing Presidency.
However, despite the Presidency’s efforts, the reported outcome of the meeting was that “the Council was not able to agree on the women on company boards directive. There is currently no qualified majority on this dossier in the Council. Although there is a broad consensus across the EU in favour of taking measures to improve the gender balance on company boards, some member states prefer to do so at national level. They thus take the view that the proposal does not comply with the principle of subsidiarity.”
This means that it is considered unlikely that the proposal will be adopted anytime soon. Reportedly, the Duch government has no intention of putting it on the agenda for its up-coming Presidency during the first semester of 2016, and it is speculated that ultimately the Commission will withdraw it.
This does not mean that there will not be some Member States that will introduce such measures within their domestic legislation – but at least it means that these measures, if and where they are introduced by a Member States, will be far easier to get rid of once that Member States discovers that it is dangerous for the economy to appoint members of company boards on any other grounds than their qualification.