Germany Will Fight EU Plan to Set Boardroom Quotas for Women at Private Companies

March 6, 2013 - 9:30 AM

Germany Cabinet

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle stands behind his chair at the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, March 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's foreign minister says Berlin will fight a European Union proposal to introduce mandatory quotas for the number of women on the boards of private companies.

The plan proposed by European Commission Vice-President Viviane Reding in November would require at least 40 percent of the non-executive directors of publicly traded European companies with more than 250 employees to be women by 2020.

But Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle says it's a national issue that Brussels shouldn't be involved in — a stance also taken by Britain.

He says: "Germany will not only not accept such a directive, but we will work actively against it."

The proposed measure still needs approval by EU leaders and the European Parliament.