The European Commission needs to stop worrying about the number of "Muslim lesbians" it has working for it, a senior MEP has said. (Photo by Omar Havana/Getty Images)


Pro-diversity EC still clueless about backgrounds of own staff


The European Commission needs to worry less about the number of “Muslim lesbians” it has working for it, especially given legal problems in accurately measuring its employees’ backgrounds, says a senior MEP.

The European Commission confirmed this week the EU’s own GDPR rules mean it cannot legally measure the ethnic, sexual, or religious background of its workers, apart from with anonymous voluntary surveys.

But voluntary survey data raises problems with validity, in measuring the effectiveness of the European Commission’s pro-diversity policies, Identity and Democracy group vice president Dr Gunnar Beck tells Brussels Signal. 

As reported by Brussels Signal last year, leaked messages from the European Commission indicate it cannot measure the success of its ‘Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace Action Plan 2023-2024′, since GDPR makes it illegal to measure employees’ ethnic, sexual or religious backgrounds.

The European Commission now insists it can get around this GDPR problem by using anonymous voluntary surveys.  A spokesperson says the Commission had already completed the first of these and was planning more.

“As far as data collection is concerned, the Commission conducted a first voluntary, anonymous and confidential survey of its staff in March 2021, in full compliance with relevant data protection regulations,” the Commission said.

It hoped to integrate such surveys soon into the body’s internal IT systems in the hopes of getting more workers to voluntarily complete them, the Commission added.

“[T]he Commission committed itself in the action plan to examine whether data on diversity could be collected on the basis of voluntary, anonymous and confidential self-identification using IT systems,” said the spokesperson, arguing that this method of polling would increase the surveys’ validity.

The validity of the data assumes honest replies, argues Beck.

But the surveys’ anonymous nature could lead to attempts to intentionally rig the data, he says.

“Since the questionnaire is anonymous, Commission employees with a migration and non-Christian background may be encouraged to register themselves as white Christians, in order to further boost the diversification of the workforce, beyond the diversity target,” Beck claims.

With GDPR and validity problems making it impossible accurately to measure the Commission’s diversity policy’s success, the policy becomes “farcical”, says Beck.

The German politician suggests the EC needed to stop worrying about whether or not its staff in Brussels are “too white”, and instead focus on other real issues facing Europeans throughout the EU.

“Instead of worrying about the number of Muslim lesbians of sub-Saharan African descent working for the Commission, Brussels should focus on the real problems of real citizens, farmers, families and companies,” he said.