On their website Ukip announce: An amendment that would allow governments to dissolve companies that do not adhere to a gender quota system of 40% in senior positions has been passed by the European Parliament today. Another amendment passed will mean that the under-represented gender will be given preferential treatment in the recruitment, selection and appointment of non-executive directors. The website also includes a statement from Paul Nuttall who condemns the decision as barmy, mad, bad and downright dangerous.
Firstly the press statement of Ukip is a tad disingenuous in that presently this matter is only in the form of a draft directive and has to go before the Council of Ministers for their agreement (decided by QMV) when they meet on 9th/10th December before it can become EU law.
At the time of writing, I have yet to find any reference to a EU Parliament amendment that would allow the governments of Member States to dissolve any company that did not adhere to a gender quota system of 40% in ‘senior positions’, but I am still looking. What an article on the Europa Newsroom website does state is that the EU Parliament has called for sanctions to be mandatory, rather than indicative, as the Commission proposes; while also calling for companies to be excluded from bidding in ‘public calls for tender'; and partial exclusion from the award of funding from the European structural funds. The EU Parliament has also departed from the Commission’s original proposal with their decision that there should be no possibility for Member States to exempt companies from the law where members of the underrepresented sex make up less than 10% of the workforce.
It is also worth mentioning that Ukip do not appear to understand the role of non-executive directors and the powers such have – but then why is that not a surprise? Also on the latter point that Ukip make in their press statement quoted above, it is worth reading exactly what the draft directive states on that particular point – which is not that which Ukip intimate.
There are a number of documents that readers may wish to read about this draft directive: the Europa Newsroom; (see latest stories section); a summary of the European Parliament plenary session; the draft directive; and surprise not, but somethingthat shows our old friend UNECE has had a finger in the pie, plus two papers on the subject here and here. We also find that Norway has enacted the 40% thingy long before the EU – but again I digress.
Together with Richard North, Autonomous Mind and The Boiling Frog, invariably I receive criticism for what is termed ‘Ukip bashing’ – but is it not justified? For Ukip and their spokesmen to put out vacuous comments which are economical with the actualité and then to be ‘found out’, does their standing as what they hope and purport to be, namely a leading anti-EU voice, no good whatsoever – in fact it can only do them harm as eventually those to whom they appeal will soon come to realise that the voice of Ukip, in common with every other political party, cannot be relied upon for the truth.
Perhaps they need to take a leaf out of the old tv series ‘Dragnet, which to paraphrase: Just the facts Sir, just the facts…..
Just a few observations……….
Afterthought: And we still have to ascertain the the additional bureaucratic costs of this draft directive, not just on companies, but also on the state. The fact that the EU states this directive will have no additional cost on the EU budget is neither here nor there – it sure will have an effect on the costs incurred by companies; and on the budgets of Member States who, in turn, will only be able to recoup their costs by additional taxation on their
cash cows people!