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Andrea S. Aldrich and William T. Daniel

While the EU does not set specific legal requirements for its Member States’ electoral systems, it is perhaps one of the world’s best learning laboratories for comparing the effects of electoral design. The EU is also, in many ways, a leader in the policy space of gendered representation – with a proportionality principle roughly applied across the Commission and Court of Justice, as well as one of the most descriptively representative spaces for female legislators in the European Parliament. In this chapter, we assess the role of the EU in the promotion of women’s descriptive representation. Using the broad variation found in national electoral laws and party organization guiding policies, we are able to assess how national expectations of gendered representation commingle within the EU legal space. In doing so, our work brings to light new descriptive information on the state of gendered representation at the EU, national and party levels of Europe.