This content is not available in your region

The Brief: EU reflects lack of diversity in membership

Access to the comments Comments
By Shoshana Dubnow
Annual manifestation against racism and xenophobia
Annual manifestation against racism and xenophobia   -   Copyright  © European Union 2018 - Source : EP   -   DAINA LE LARDIC

EU confronted with diversity disparity

Sajid Karim is a member of the European Parliament of British Pakistani origin - one of only 18 people of color providing representation in the house’s last term.

“It’s a real shame that even in this day and age we find ourselves in a situation where so many of our institutions - both at a national and European level - simply do not reflect the societies that they choose to represent," Karim said. "And whilst that remains the case, there is always going to be a deficit in our democracy.”

He said he feels diversity in the European Parliament has worsened in the 15 years he’s been a member.

A new report on the European Elections from the European Network Against Racism found that while racial and ethnic minorities make 10 percent of the EU’s population, only 5 percent of those elected into the European Parliament this time are from such a background.

When Britain exits the EU, it’s 7 MEPs from ethnic minority backgrounds who’ve been elected will leave the Parliament - harming the diversity numbers further.

But the EU’s other institutions like the European Commission and Council are even still lagging behind the parliament.

It’s estimated only 1 percent of those directly employed are from ethnic minority backgrounds

EU's top job up for grabs

EU Council President Donald Tusk is starting a tour to gauge support for candidates hoping become the next EU Commission President.

His first meetings are with the Spanish Prime minister in Madrid.

The selection process is getting more complicated because of the wide spread of parties elected into the European Parliament.

More Green gains

The number of Greens in the new European Parliament has risen to 74 members.

The grouping, one of the big winners of the elections, announced that 5 newly elected members have joined their ranks.

Three members of the Czech Pirate Party, as well two left-leaning German politicians, will sit with the Greens.

Farage snubs Salvini and Le Pen

A new far-right alliance in the European Parliament is looking much less likely.

Brexit party leader Nigel Farage said they won't be joining the group of Matteo Salvini and Marine Le Pen.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the leader of Poland's ruling Law and Justice party, also won't be teaming up with Salvini.