The formation of the new European Commission could be delayed as there are not enough women being nominated by member states, Jean-Claude Juncker has warned EU leaders.
Just two women have been put forward for the 28-strong body and Mr Juncker, the new European Commission President, has threatened to halt the talks unless more females are put forward.
Britain has nominated Lord Hill of Oareford, a former Education minister, as its candidate for the Commission. Only Sweden, which has put forward Cecilia Malmström for a second term, and the Czech Republic, which has nominated Vera Jourová, have female candidates.
The move is a fresh setback to the tortuous negotiations for the new Commission, which is supposed to be settled by the end of October. Natasha Bertaud, Mr Juncker's spokeswoman, said: "Mr Juncker has made clear on numerous occasions that a Commission with only two or three women will not be credible."