Members of the European Parliament missed an opportunity to put right an unreasonable European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling which has adversely affected young female drivers who have seen their premiums rise by as much as 38% from December last year.

Marina Yannakoudakis MEP, who is Conservative Spokesman on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality in the European Parliament, condemned those MEPs who voted to welcome the ECJ judgement as “out of touch and befuddled by ultra-feminism.”

The proposals, drafted by Hungarian Socialist Party MEP Zita Gurmai who is President of the Party of European Socialists Women’s Group, go further than the scope of the ECJ ruling and call for the European Commission to more actively police discrimination on the basis of gender, not only in the field of insurance, but for all goods and services. Mrs. Yannakoudakis and her fellow Conservative MEPs voted against the plans which were nevertheless carried 488-152.

Mrs. Yannakoudakis said: “I am opposed to gender discrimination, but I believe that common sense must prevail over ideology. By supporting the ECJ ruling, MEPs have shown themselves to be out of touch and befuddled by ultra-feminism.

“Young female drivers have consistently proved to be far safer drivers than young males and they should benefit from lower insurance premiums because of it.

“Worse still, if MEPs have their way, the Commission will be able to poke its nose not only into our insurance policies, but also into all goods and services sold in the European Union. The Socialists support an EU gender police which could pull the plug on ladies’ nights and gentlemen’s clubs.”

Background: In 2008 the Belgian consumer organisation Test-Achats challenged an exemption in EU law for insurers allowing to change prices depending on whether the customer was a man or woman on the basis of gender discrimination  In 2011 the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that after 21 December 2012 it would be against the law for EU insurers to take gender into account when setting prices for customers.