Member of the European Parliament
Chairperson of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Equal Opportunities

Launch of Eurochamber's Women Network

European Parliament, 10.9.2003



Ladies and Gentlemen,


Thank you very much for having invited me and my Colleagues Members of the European Parliament Committee on Women´s Rights and Equal Opportunities to this Launch of Eurochamber´s Women Network. It is a honour and pleasure for me to address this important group.


I would like to congratulate you for having taken the initiative to create this Network, which I  believe will play a crucial role for women on all levels and in all activity areas of the Chambers within your Organisation. It is my strong conviction that there are many women in your organisations who are very capable and who can contribute with knowledge, expereience and ideas to progress and economic growth.


Despite the number of knowledgeable and capable women, I regret very much that women are still underrepresented where important decisions are taken, in the private as well as in the public sector, and they do not participate in important negociations and diplomacy. Women is a labour force that have not yet been fully exploited, and they should be mobilised in order that their high potential is used. There is a big space for women to act and to bring fresh ideas in order to boost our economies.


I would then just say a few words of the work of the Committee which I have the honour to chair.


A priority task of our Committee is the promotion of gender equality in all areas of public and private life, and a balanced participation of men and women in democratic institutions and decision-making  processes. Our Committee works very hard to support the willingness and capacity of women in order that they are not side stepped but are placed on an equal level with men. Gender equality and women´s rights must be further strengthened in the new Constitution. The new European Parliament should have a balanced participation of women and men, and in any case, our aim is that the share of women should not be less than 40 per cent, in comparison with today´s figure of 31 per cent.


I wish you all success with your Network, and I thank you for your attention.