Maternity and Paternity leave for MEPs: Long overdue measures needed to ensure women’s full participation in the political process

Renew Europe is calling attention to the fact that Members of the European Parliament still do not have the possibility to send a replacement in case they are absent due to pregnancy or following the birth of a child. At the initiative of Renew Europe MEP Samira Rafaela, Members of the European Parliament are calling on the European Council and its President to urgently support necessary change to the European Act concerning the election of MEPs, so that Members can have temporary replacements in case of maternity or paternity leave. If Europe wants to be at the forefront of gender equality, it certainly should ensure women’s full participation in the political and democratic process.

MEP Samira Rafaela, Member of the FEMM Committee, said:

“In the Europe of the 21st century, women should be able to fully participate in the political process without any impediment. They should not have to second-guess their choice to run for European Parliament because they cannot take maternity leave with a proper replacement.”

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Samira Rafaela MEP, D66 — Netherlands (Photo: Ruiter voor Leidraad)

MEP Irène Tolleret, Coordinator of the FEMM Committee, added:

“The European act on the election of MEPs should have been amended long ago. Iis sad that in 2020 this is still not the case. We need the Council to openly take a stance in favour of changing it. Addressing this issue is already long overdue. All citizens have the right to be represented and we should do everything to encourage women to pursue their political career — instead of hampering them.”

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