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Lithuania joins eight EU countries in opposing quotas for women in company management

Shutterstock nuotr. / Businesswoman
Šaltinis: BNS

Lithuania and eight other EU member states have expressed objection to the proposal by the European Commission (EC) to set quotas for female membership on boards of companies quoted on bourse.

"We do not support the adoption of legally binding provisions for women on company boards at the European level," reads a joint letter sent to European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and his deputy Viviane Reding.

The letter was signed by Lithuania's Social Security and Labor Minister Donatas Jankauskas, as well as Cabinet members of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Malta, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

The European Commission is considering a rule that companies quoted on a stock exchange be obliged to have their boards consisting of at least 40 percent of women.

Authors of the letter acknowledge that "there are still too few women on the boards of publicly listed companies," emphasizing that the situation should first be changed in individual member-states.

According to the letter, a number of companies have already launched national instruments. "For these reasons, we reiterate that any targeted measures in this area should be devised and implemented at national level," reads the letter.

The Lithuanian minister, Jankauskas, told BNS on Monday that the regulation possibility should be up to every individual country rather than "envisaged in directions." Furthermore, he emphasized that a relatively high number of women were involved in company management in Lithuania.

"Lithuania's position is that every country should address the matter according to its unique situation. The situation in Lithuania is better, as compared with other countries," Jankauskas said.

Last year, European Commissioner Reding urged companies to assume the commitment by March of this year to have boards consisting of at least 30 percent of women by 2015 and of at least 40 percent by 2020.

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