Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Eliminating gender stereotypes in the EU

Delivered in Plenary - 12th March 2013

Madam President

Perhaps the Liotard report will be most remembered for eliciting such a protest from enraged EU citizens, who have flooded our e-mail boxes, condemning Parliament’s attempts to ban pornography and censor the Internet. But, while the tone of the report is much more sensible than this – which was somewhat hysterical – it still attempts to adopt powers that are reserved to EU Member State governments.

We all agree that the gender pay gap needs to be closed, that women should not face discrimination in the workplace and that children should definitely not be sexualised. Most of us can even agree that men and women should be encouraged to pursue careers that have not been traditionally assigned to them merely by social conditioning. But when suggestions to improve particular situations take the shape of uniform EU diktats, we must reject overbearing EU interference, no matter how well intentioned. We may well agree with the diagnosis of the problem but, sadly, not the cure suggested by Mrs Liotard.