Recent years have seen considerable focus on the representation of women in political and economic decision-making by EU institutions. Both the European Parliament and the European Commission put in place actions to encourage politicians in the Member States to introduce measures to improve and accelerate gender balance in political and economic leadership positions.

The European Commission has continued to promote gender balance in political and public decision-making positions through its strategic engagement for gender equality 2016-2019 and its own target to achieve 40 % representation of women in senior and middle management within its institutions by 2019. It also proposed Directive 2012/0299, which would have obliged Member States to achieve at least 40 % representation of women and men among non-executive directors of listed companies, but this initiative has been blocked so far in the Council of the EU.