Posted on 17. June 2016 in Press, Work with Institutions

Yesterday, the Council of the European Union released the first Council conclusions on LGBTI equality [1] and gender equality [2]. This is the first time that the EU Member States jointly address the rights of LGBTI people in a separate conclusion. However both the LGBTI conclusion, and the gender equality one remain silent on trans people; failing to address the rights and recognise the existing laws which protect them.

While welcoming these statements  as long overdue, Transgender Europe warns that these conclusions are poisoned apples as they lack political aspiration. Instead of leading by example in fighting for the rights of LGBTI people, Member States want to reserve the right to discriminate against them;  the repeated reference to Member States’ “national identities and constitutional traditions” undermines existing European Union law and universality of human rights.

“The statement is poisoned. The Council of the European Union fails to address legal remedies the European Union has to protect trans people. Instead of strengthening trans people’s rights, Member States send a signal that EU law would not afford protection.” says Julia Ehrt, Executive Director of Transgender Europe.

“Member States and EU Commission should fight discriminatory traditions or practices and take a strong stand to fight discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics. These conclusions are a missed opportunity for political leadership to truly safeguard the human rights of LGBTI people in Europe.” Ehrt adds.

By not giving the substantial support needed for the European Union to be a pro-active equality champion, the Council of the European Union undermines the rights for LGBTI people in Europe.

ENDS

Notes:

[1] http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2016/06/16-epsco-conclusions-lgbti-equality/

[2] http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2016/06/16-epsco-conclusions-gender-equality/

Transgender Europe is a European human rights NGO working for the human rights and equality of all trans people. More Information: www.tgeu.org

Transgender or Trans is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity or expression differs from the sex assigned to them at birth.

LGBTI stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex.