Getting Women on Company Boards in the EU: A Tale of Power-Balancing in Three Acts

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Female underrepresentation on company boards has remained a persisting problem in most EU countries. Different regulatory and enforcement approaches have been taken across the EU to deal with it, ranging from self- and co-regulatory regimes to very stringent public law quota rules. The adoption of a common European approach has appeared complicated because of the different power plays occuring within the national and European Union context in this field. In three acts, this contribution will tell this power-balancing tale. The first act sets the scene by focussing on the existing inequalities between men and women on company boards; the second act concentrates on the legal tensions arising between public and private actors when it comes to finding an appropriate regulatory response to deal with this problem; and the third act addresses the tensions that occur between the EU and the Member States in this regard. This will lay bare the dilemmas the Commission has faced in proposing a European response to the problem in the form of a directive proposal and how it has sought to accommodate the different national approaches.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Europe - Old Values?
Subtitle of host publicationReform and Perseverance
EditorsNada Bodiroga-Vukobrat, Sinisa Rodin, Gerald G. Sander
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-02213-0
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-02212-3
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Publication series

NameEuropeanization and Globalization


  • gender equality, division of competences EU, public-private divide


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