Balancing Her and Him

Ulrike Lunacek (MEP, Greens), Angelika Mlinar (MEP, ALDE), moderator, Stefan Schnöll (ÖVP, International Commission of Junge). Photo: Tara McLeod Williams

Ulrike Lunacek (MEP, Greens), Angelika Mlinar (MEP, ALDE), moderator, Stefan Schnöll (ÖVP, International Commission of Junge). Photo: Tara McLeod Williams

MEP Angelika Mlinar of ALDE and Stefan Schnöll from the Young European People‘s Party discussed the issue of gender quota on the opening evening of the MEU 2015.

MEU: What must change regarding gender parity in your opinion? How do you imagine this principle will evolve?

Mlinar: My goal as a politician is to achieve greater gender balance because we are living in a society where it is quite obvious and unacceptable that you have a daughter and a son, you know that your daughter does not have the same chance as your son. And this in the 21th century in the Western Europe, there is no reason for this. It is pattern of behaviour and we have to break this. As a liberal we are not so fond of regulation just in general, we have to think in detail if this regulation is justified or not. In this case, we have two values that compete. One value is basically that you decide your life however you want and the other value is that you want to have gender equality achieved. For me personaly, I have to think if every single regulation is the means to go there, and it is not a means in itself but it is only to achieve the final goal which is gender equality.

MEU:What about quota of 40% and positive discrimination provisions?

Mlinar: My personal opinion is not completely in line with my party. I have not seen yet any other possibility to achieve, to enforce and to put into life gender equality other then having a gender quote. We can stop again if it is not working and we only work until we achieve the 40% and then it shouMEP Angelika Mlinar of ALDE and Stefan Schnöll from the Young European People‘s Party discussed the issue of gender quota on the opening evening of the MEU 2015.

MEU: What must change regarding gender parity in your opinion? How do you imagine this principle will evolve?

Mlinar: My goal as a politician is to achieve greater gender balance because we are living in a society where it is quite obvious and unacceptable that you have a daughter and a son, you know that your daughter does not have the same chance as your son. And this in the 21th century in the Western Europe, there is no reason for this. It is pattern of behaviour and we have to break this. As a liberal we are not so fond of regulation just in general, we have to think in detail if this regulation is justified or not. In this case, we have two values that compete. One value is basically that you decide your life however you want and the other value is that you want to have gender equality achieved. For me personaly, I have to think if every single regulation is the means to go there, and it is not a means in itself but it is only to achieve the final goal which is gender equality.

MEU:What about quota of 40% and positive discrimination provisions?

Mlinar: My personal opinion is not completely in line with my party. I have not seen yet any other possibility to achieve, to enforce and to put into life gender equality other then having a gender quote. We can stop again if it is not working and we only work until we achieve the 40% and then it should develop itself.

by Lara Kontoratchi


MEU: As your speech sort of laid out, you are against how quotas’ measurements might predominate natural “meritocracy”: on the other hand, you seem to be in favor of any proposal about Gender Balance which might focus on abilities of both women and men. What is your party doing in favor of Gender Balance’s ideal?

Schnöll: When it comes to our European List, there is a fair distribution of roles between males and females: we are making sure that our members in the European Parliament are utterly balanced. Right now, there are five members of my party: three males and the two females.

MEU: What’s “meritocracy” for you?
Schnöll: “Meritocracy” is to gain your own position just because of your abilities, not because of your gender, whether you are a male or a female. Our political and social approach must be systematic: we have to destroy all the stereotypes and differences’ barriers, in order to make the philosophical idea of “meritocracy” real.

MEU: What do you expect from “2015” as a Member of the Young European People’s Party and a politician?
Schnöll: Well, actually I am not a politician: I am a “young guy” active in politics, but I am not paid for what I am doing.

by Alessia Giorgiutti

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