Women In European Politics

2019 was a great year for women in politics from all over the world. In European politics there had been many chances and positions offered to women and here are some who decided to take them, therefore marking their places in politics.

Ursula von der Leyen – President of the European Commission

Ursula von der Leyen
Credit: https://audiovisual.ec.europa.eu/en/photo/

Ursula von der Leyen is the first woman holding the position of the President of the European Commission in the history of Europe. The European Commission is the political executive of the European Union which was established on the 16th of January 1958. Its main task is to prepare and propose regulations. Before this role, Ursula von der Leyen had an impressive political career. She had been a member of the CDU since 1990, a member of the German Bundestag from 2009 to 2019, and she held top positions in German federal government: a Federal Minister of Family Affairs and Youth (2005-2009), a Minister of Labour and Social Affairs (2009-2013) and Minister of Defence from 2013 to 2019. Apart from her political career, Ursula von der Leyen has a medical degree and is the mother of seven children. On the 16th of July 2019, von der Leyen was chosen by the European Parliament for this position. As a president, her job is to establish guidelines for actions of the Commission, to decide on the internal organization of the Commission and to appoints Vice-Presidents from among the members of the Commission. Ursula von der Leyen is especially commited to promoting gender equality. Year 2020 marks the start of implementation of the Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025.

“Gender equality is a core principle of the European Union, but it is not yet a reality. In business, politics and society as a whole, we can only reach our full potential if we use all of our talent and diversity. Using only half of the population, half of the ideas or half of the energy is not good enough. With the Gender Equality Strategy, we are pushing for more and faster progress to promote equality between men and women.” by Ursula von der Leyen


Marija Pejčinović-Burić – Secretary General of the Council of Europe

Marija Pejčinović-Burić – taking over her position on September 18,2019
Credit: https://www.coe.int/en/web/portal/

Marija Pejčinović-Burić is a Croatian politician, who has been holding the position of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe since June 2019. The Council of Europe is an international organization of 47 Member States  and its task is strengthening democracy and protecting human rights. In June 2019 the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly had a secret voting that ended with Burić wining with 159 votes. As the General Secretary, she is the chief administrative officer of the UN in all meetings of the General Assembly, of the Security Council, of the Economic and Social Council and the Trusteeship Council and she makes an annual report to the General Assembly. Before her position in the Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović-Burić had a successful political career in national and European politics. She had a number of positions in the Croatian governemnt led by Prime Minister Andrey Plenković. In 2016 she became the Secretary of State and in 2017 she was appointed as the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the First Deputy Prime Minister of Croatia.

Written by Nola Kolarek

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