Press release: Parliament urges Commission and Member States to guarantee freedom of movement LGBTI families

Today, the European Parliament adopted a non-binding resolution on protection and non-discrimination with regard to minorities in the EU Member States. The resolution contains strong wording on the free movement of LGBTI families.

In the resolution, the European Parliament urges the European Commission and Member States to correctly implement the Free Movement Directive, “consistently respecting, inter alia, the provisions related to family members and prohibiting discrimination on any grounds.” (par. 20)

This Directive gives citizens, the right of free movement and residence across the EU. This right extends to their direct family members, including (non-EU) spouse, and their children.

However, in practice, same-sex spouses are often denied these rights. Also transgender persons’ marriage certificates or ID documents are not necessarily recognised by other Member States, despite their validity and legality.

That’s why the European Parliament calls on the Commission “to take action to ensure that LGBTI individuals and their families can exercise their right to free movement.” (par. 21) and to provide “clear and accessible information on the recognition of cross-border rights for LGBTI persons and their families in the EU.” (par. 19)

Daniele Viotti MEP, Co-President of the LGBTI Intergroup, commented: “It isn’t freedom of movement if your civil status literally evaporates at the border of one Member State. Whenever a civil status is already legal in one Member States, others must recognise this.”

“This won’t introduce same-sex unions into countries that don’t want it at the moment—the EU cannot do this. This is respecting the sovereignty of Member States where these unions exist as well as respecting the lives of the people who are part of these unions.”

Cecilia Wikström MEP, Chair of the Petitions Committee and Member of the LGBTI Intergroup, commented: “In the last years the European Parliament has repeatedly called for true equality in freedom of movement for citizens and their families.”

“It’s time for Member States to finally start respecting the laws that they have voted and implement freedom of movement for everyone.”

For more information, please contact:

Linda Aziz, Head of Press of Cecilia Wikström

linda.aziz@ep.europa.eu

+32 486 94 76 82

Press release: MEPs call for better protection of minority rights

 

MEPs call for better protection of minority rights

  • minority issues not high enough on EU agenda
  • free movement of LGBTI individuals and their families must be ensured
  • discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation has increased

Parliament reiterated its support for the rights of ethnic, sexual, religious and other minorities across the EU, in a resolution passed on Wednesday.

MEPs emphasise that minority issues have not been high enough on the EU agenda. They deplore that those belonging to minorities still encounter obstacles in ensuring respect for their fundamental rights, as demonstrated by the number of petitions that the European Parliament continues to receive.

The rights of minorities are enshrined in the treaties of the EU, but, in order to close the gap between treaty and reality, MEPs suggest better monitoring of discrimination, as well as concrete legislative action from the Commission and the Council.

They furthermore encourage member states to ensure that:

  • their legal systems guarantee that minorities are not discriminated against,
  • the right to use minority languages is upheld.

The resolution, drafted by Parliament’s Petitions Committee, also calls on the Commission to take action to ensure that LGBTI individuals and their families can exercise their right to free movement across all member states.

Quote

Cecilia Wikström (ALDE, SE), Chair of the Committee on Petitions, said: “The European Union is a Union built on values. Our citizens’ fundamental rights must always be respected, and we should ensure that this includes all of our citizens. We should never accept that people are discriminated against only because they belong to a minority group, as several petitions received regrettably indicate. The Committee on Petitions therefore urgently calls on the Commission and the Member States to better protect the rights of minority communities in the EU. ”

Background

In the latest 2015 Eurobarometer survey, discrimination on the grounds of ethnic origin continues to be regarded as the most widespread form of discrimination in the EU, followed by discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The latter increased substantially since 2012.

In recent years, Parliament has passed a number of resolutions urging the improvement of fundamental rights for EU citizens in general and minorities in particular.

For more information, please contact:
Linda Aziz, Head of Press of Cecilia Wikström

Linda.aziz@ep.europa.eu

+32 486 94 76 82