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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 August, 2004, 17:57 GMT 18:57 UK
Top EU body to appoint more women
Austrian Foreign Minister Benita Ferrero-Waldner
Austria's Benita Ferrero-Waldner is among the candidates
The president-elect of the European Commission has succeeded in one of his first objectives - getting more women nominated to be commissioners.

Eight of the 24 candidates put forward by EU countries are women - the figure suggested by Jose Manuel Durao Barroso in his acceptance speech last month.

On Wednesday, he thanked member-states for nominating what he called a "strong and balanced team".

The commission must be approved by the European Parliament before 1 November.

Portfolios

In a statement, Mr Durao Barroso, the former Portuguese prime minister, described the nominations for commissioners as "a very high-quality group with a wide experience in EU affairs and across a range of policy areas".

He said he planned to unveil the portfolios to be held by each of the new commissioners by the end of August.

The countries to nominate female candidates are Denmark, Austria, Poland, Lithuania, Sweden, Luxembourg, Latvia and the Netherlands.

There are 25 commissioners, including Mr Durao Barroso representing Portugal.

It will be the strongest female representation since the Commission was created in 1957. The Commission headed by outgoing Commission President Romano Prodi featured seven women out of 30 members.

When he was endorsed by the European Parliament, Mr Durao Barroso said he would aim to build bridges within the EU.




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