Today, the European Commission will publish the Equality Package, composed of two legal texts that will strengthen equality through an upgraded legal toolbox.
The first of the measures is the regulation on mutual recognition of parenthood across Members States, which will ensure that a parent-child link legally established in a Member State will automatically be recognised in any other Member State. The second is the directive on strengthening equality bodies, which will strengthen the independence of these national structures, responsible for monitoring compliance with equality legislation.
The LGBTI and Children’s Rights Intergroups jointly welcome the publication of this Package.
Kim van Sparrentak MEP (Greens-EFA), Co-Chair of the LGBTI Intergroup, comments:
Freedom of movement is a pillar of our Union and yet it seems that some enjoy this right more than others. Ensuring that children do not lose the legal links to their parents when crossing a border is not only about legal clarity and preventing administrative hurdles – it is a moral imperative. Why can rainbow families face an erasure of their legal existence when crossing borders when other families do not? Rainbow families have existed for longer than their legal recognition – with this Regulation, we will close the gap and protect the best interests of the child. We welcome this measure fondly and will keep pushing for a similar proposal concerning the mutual recognition of relationships.
Catharina Rinzema MEP (Renew Europe Group), Vice-Chair of the Children’s Rights Intergroup, states:
If you are one family in a Member State, you should be a family in all our Union – it is as simple as that! The best interests of the child should always be a primary consideration and the right for a child to a family is enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, no matter where you are. Parenting rights of LGBTI couples must always be preserved and children of LGBTI parents should have the same rights as their peers from different-sex parents. A child is always a child and we cannot allow failing children in our societies. I wholeheartedly support this proposal that puts children at the centre and marks a step in right direction to equality for all!
David Lega MEP (EPP Group), Co-Chair of the Children’s Rights Intergroup, adds:
Children of LGBTI parents are largely exposed to discrimination and LGBTI families have suffered an unjustified compression of their freedom of movement in our Union. This long over-due Regulation on mutual recognition of parenthood across Member States puts an end to the wrongs suffered by these children and families and moves towards justice in our Union giving all children, all families, equal rights and a safe place in our societies, wherever they are, leaving no one behind!
Marc Angel MEP (S&D Group), Co-Chair of the LGBTI Intergroup, concludes:
We welcome warmly the legislative measure on strengthening equality bodies. These national structures are key to ensuring that citizens have a capacity for legal redress if they are discriminated against. Where there are legal protections in place, these structures help ensure respect for the rule of law and citizen’s rights. This is why we must safeguard their independence, mandate and capacity, and make sure they are fit for protecting our citizens in all matters relating to equality.