by Rex Wockner
International News Briefs
The European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights criticized the European Commission on April 21 for failing “to mention the mutual recognition of same-sex unions across (European Union) borders as a priority for its 2010-2014 Stockholm Programme.”
The Stockholm Programme lays out the commission’s policies for EU citizens in the areas of justice, freedom and security until the year 2014.
In a resolution last November, the European Parliament declared that the Stockholm Programme must “ensure freedom of movement for EU citizens and their families, including both registered partnerships and marriages, (and) avoid all kinds of discrimination on any ground, including sexual orientation.”
Key commissioners apparently supported the proposal but then later changed their minds.
“During their January hearings, Commissioners (Cecilia) Malmstroem and (Viviane) Reding (who are in charge of the Stockholm Programme) committed themselves to full equality for European citizens, including on grounds of gender and sexual orientation – indeed, Viviane Reding explicitly said that same-sex couples must retain the same rights when moving across the EU,” said Ulrike Lunacek, co-president of the LGBT Intergroup. “It seems they are now shying away from these dossiers because they are controversial for some national governments. It would be unacceptable that LGBT families be, again, asked to wait for equal rights.”
Intergroup Co-President Michael Cashman added: “Commissioners Reding and Malmstroem must … begin the process of ensuring that all citizens, including LGBT families, enjoy genuine freedom of movement across the EU. This is fundamental.”