Press Release

German Women Lawyers Association (djb) calls on Greek Presidency to advance equal opportunities initiatives

Pressemitteilung vom 07.01.2014

With Greece assuming the Presidency of the Council of the European Union on January 1st 2014 the German Woman Lawyers Association (djb) calls on the new Presidency to pursue and promote gender equality projects during the first six months of the year. Following Ireland and Lithuania, Greece concludes the Trio-Presidency which conducted high aims in the area of equal opportunities.

"The gender-balanced recruitment procedures with regard to Supervisory Board positions of listed companies as well as the elimination of the gender pay gap constitute two important issues for gender equality in the European Union which are addressed in the programme of the Greek Presidency", observed djb-President Ramona Pisal.

The draft EU-Directive on improving gender balance in the boards of listed companies which was presented by the Commission in mid-November 2012 provides for a minimum of 40 % women as Supervisory Board members of listed companies.  A number of Member States in the Council criticize this initiative, whereas the European Parliament, the Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee support it benevolently.

The djb is asking in Germany for quota with regard to Supervisory Board positions as well as Executive Board positions in order to achieve gender balance. It therefore supports a corresponding meaningful legislative action at EU level and is currently preparing an Advisory Opinion on the draft Directive.

The gender pay gap is still alarmingly high in Germany – above the European average. The djb has therefore repeatedly asked to take action in Germany, most recently in an Advisory Opinion on BT-Drs. (Official Record of the German Parliament) 17/8897 and 17/9781 on February 14th2013. Thus the djb supports corresponding European activities.

The djb regrets that despite explicit the announcement in the Trio-Presidency programme, the work of the Council on the amendment of the Directive on the legal protection of working mothers (COM/2008/0637 final) have come to a standstill. It therefore calls on the Greek Presidency to arbitrate without delay between the Council and the European Parliament. In this respect the djb refers to its Advisory Opinion of July 16th 2013. The djb also considers it a duty of the new German government to campaign for the adoption of the Directive in the Council.


Translation provided by Dr. Karin E. M. Kopp, LL.M. (Berkeley) - Treasurer.