Seven Days in Europe

Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding had to shelve plans to introduce a directive that would make it mandatory for company boards to reserve 40% of their seats for women.

Despite facing opposition Reding tweeted that she will not give up, and that the matter will be on the Commission agenda again in November. She told press:

“We are fighting now for 100 years – so, one or two weeks more, what difference does that make? For me, what’s important is that a strong piece of legislation comes out of the Commission.”

According to the EC, less than 15% of board positions in member states are currently held by women. France, Spain, Italy and Belgium already have quotas in place, and Norway has had a 40% quota since 2003. The UK aims to have a minimum of 25% female members on FTSE 100 company boards by 2015.

This month’s list of infringement decisions was published by the EC, detailing which member states face legal action for failing to comply with their obligations under EU law. Italy was criticised for its hundreds of illegal landfills and uncontrolled waste tips and faces fines. The UK was requested to review its provisions for inheritance tax on spouses due to the different treatment for non-domiciled spouses and civil partners, or there will be a reference made to the CJEU.

Continue reading

Seven Days in Europe

The UK Commission on a Bill of Rights has published its interim advice on the reform of the European Court of Human Rights. The Commission recommended three areas for reform – first, the need to reduce the number of cases that reach the Court by introducing new screening mechanisms; second, the need to reconsider the relief that the Court is able to offer by way of just satisfaction; and third, the need to enhance procedures for the selection of well-qualified judges of the Court. Somewhat unusually, an additional letter was published in parallel to the interim advice, laying out suggestions from individual members of the Commission. Perhaps the most controversial idea laid out in the letter is that there should be some form of ‘democratic override’, allowing national parliaments to override decisions of the Court.

This week bought further bad news for the beleaguered eurozone. The Italian finance minister met with the head of the China Investment Corp last week, and it is understood that the Chinese delegation was asked to consider buying Italy’s sovereign debt.

Continue reading