From 2024, maximum of two-thirds of govt. can be of same sex, approves Brussels Parliament

Europe: The parliament has approved the compulsory parity in the Brussels government. From 2024, a maximum of two-thirds of the government can be of the same sex.

As per the group leader of the Francophone greens Ecolo John Pitseys, quota measures introduced for the parliament and government have made sure that women have gradually been given a place in the Brussels government over the last decades.

“This is a question of justice. Whoever says that women should be elected for their competence and not for their gender, we will just have to refer to the past,” according to the information.

Brussels MP for the Christian-democrat CD&V party Bianca Debaets also highlighted that quota measures are imperative to achieve equal representation in the executive. Opposition parties PTB/PVDA, MR, Les Engagés and Agora also voted in favour of the proposal for a more balanced gender composition of the Brussels government.

Along with this, the Dutch-speaking liberal party Open VLD party abstained, MP Carla De Jonghe highlighted that she is in favour of the objective of more women in government, “but why regulate something that is actually already handled?” She referred to the current Brussels government, where three in eight members are women.

Unlike the other federal states, the Brussels-Capital Region does not have the constative autonomy to impose parity on the Brussels government, as per the Council of State. That is up to the federal level.

The non-binary individuals, who do not identify as (solely) male or female, have also been considered for the first time, mentioned green MP Juan Benjumea-Moreno.

For the first time, non-binary people, who do not identify as (solely) male or female, have also been considered, said green MP Juan Benjumea-Moreno. “We solved that by setting a maximum of two-thirds of the same sex. That gives the possibility to include non-binary people in the quota.”

Benjumea added that the ordinance is temporary “until positive discrimination is no longer needed in our society.”

The Flemish right-wing N-VA was one of the few parties to vote against the proposal. “We understand the good intention, but this special decree is superfluous and legally unstable. The Council of State clearly states that Brussels is not competent,” the group chair Cieltje Van Achter mentioned in the statement.

“There should not be more women in government because the law says so, but because it is necessary,” she added.

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