Conference in Salzburg of European Women Leaders

PeopleOther ♦ Published: August 7, 2022; 16:07 ♦ (Vindobona)

The conference "The Next Generation is Female" in Salzburg served as the starting point for a new dialogue platform for top European women politicians. The potential and perspectives of women in top politics are to be taken into account.

Against the backdrop of the Salzburg Festival, the female Ministers of Europe together with representatives of the European Parliament had the opportunity to look at relevant EU issues from a female perspective. / Picture: © Bundeskanzleramt (BKA) / Christoper Dunker

Women in top politics should be able to exchange ideas and network, thereby strengthening the role of women in top politics. These objectives were the focus of the conference "The Next Generation is Female", to which Minister for Europe Karoline Edtstadler invited her female counterparts for the first time on August 4 and 5, 2022.

"Europe is facing immense challenges and we need all forces to reposition the EU for its citizens," emphasized Minister for Europe Karoline Edtstadler.

For Edtstadler, this conference with her female counterparts in Salzburg offers new perspectives on politics and the visibility of women is in focus, especially "in the context of the multiple crises we are currently facing."

Female competencies can provide a more sustainable view of the EU, according to the ministers. "Women in particular, as key figures in crises and conflicts, can contribute significantly to finding solutions to European challenges," Edtstadler emphasized. This is because, according to the ministers, women often have a different, more solution-oriented approach to tackling problems that transcend party, country, and institutional boundaries. In addition to addressing acute crises, he said, these perspectives are also needed to develop more strategically focused, long-term solutions.

"If we are to sustainably address the challenges facing the EU, we need increased participation of women in decision-making processes at all levels and greater consideration of women's realities in politics, business and society. There is no time to lose in setting the course together for a more resilient and ambitious, inclusive and feminine Union of the future," the Europe Minister concluded.

Networking meetings of top European women politicians to be held annually in future

Against the backdrop of the Salzburg Festival, the female Ministers of Europe and State Secretaries responsible for EU affairs, together with representatives of the European Parliament, had the opportunity to look at relevant EU issues from a female perspective.

Top female politicians from the EU states and representatives of the European Parliament attended the two-day conference in Salzburg at the DomQuartier Salzburg and Schloss Leopoldskron. Among the guests were Judit Varga, Minister of EU and Justice in Hungary, Tytti Tuppurainen, Minister of European Affairs and Property Control in Finland, the Belgian Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib, as well as Irena Dimitrova, Deputy Foreign Minister of Bulgaria, Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica, Deputy Foreign Minister and Parliamentary State Secretary in Latvia, Daniela Grigore Gitman, State Secretary for European Affairs in Romania, and Andreja Metelko-Zgombić, State Secretary for Europe at the Croatian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Representatives from the European Parliament included its Vice President Nicola Beer and MEP Eva Maydell.

"The inspiring discussions showed that this exchange and dialogue among top European women politicians is necessary. I am therefore pleased that Salzburg is the starting point for a new event format that will take place annually in the future," Edtstadler said.

These included Russia's war of aggression on Ukraine with its far-reaching consequences in terms of energy security, for example, but also the pandemic and its specific impact on women or the strengthening of European institutions.

Initial considerations for a joint trip to Ukraine, to also focus on women-specific issues in this regard, are another concrete result of the two-day working talks in Salzburg.

Minister for Europe Edtstadler noted in passing that 22 percent of the armed forces in Ukraine are female. Also, most of the displaced persons from Ukraine are female, in Austria about 82 percent. For Edtstadler, a joint visit to Ukraine would be "a strong sign of European solidarity and unity."

Federal Chancellery of Austria