Plenary summary: Discharges of the Commission (“LGBTI-free zones”) and Parliament (staff leave rights), Programmes on Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values (CERV) and Justice

During its April I plenary session, the European Parliament Plenary debated and voted on several files that relate to the human rights of LGBTI persons: 

Discharge reports – European Commission and European Parliament

Discharge of the European Commission

On Tuesday, Members of the European Parliament debated the discharge reports from the Budgetary Control committee the discharge of the European Commission (rapporteur: Joachim Kuhs, ID). The text was adopted on Thursday.

The text of the report states the following:

  • Is deeply concerned by discriminatory measures taken since 2019 by various Polish local governments who adopted so-called “LGBTI-free zone” resolutions or ‘Regional Charters of Family Rights’ discriminating in particular against single-parent and LGBTI families; notes that these authorities receive and have influence on the management of ESI-funds; Insists on the fact that, in line with Regulation No 1303/2013, the use of Union funds must comply with the principle of non-discrimination; believes that there is a serious risk of breach of these provisions in the above-mentioned municipalities and regions; calls on the Commission to ensure that cohesion funds are disbursed in compliance with the fundamental rights enshrined in the Treaties and Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, as well as the Common Provisions Regulation concerning ESI-funds; calls on the Commission to carry an investigation on the compliance of ESIF in these regions with Union law, in particular the anti-discrimination provisions, to report to the discharge authority the findings of this investigation and to make use of every tool at its disposal, including financial corrections, in case it finds clear evidence of misuse of funds on those grounds; (¶290)

Watch the plenary debate here.

This paragraph carried a separate vote (to confirm whether the text remains in the resolution). Consult the results of the roll-call separate vote (page 352-353) (+489, -141, o66)

Consult the results of the roll-call final vote here (page 307-308) (final votes (682): +362, -164, o156)

Discharge of the European Parliament

On Tuesday, Members of the European Parliament also debated the discharge of the European Parliament(rapporteur: Petri Sarvamaa, EPP). The text was adopted on Thursday.

On amendment was tabled with the following text:

  • Recalls the findings and recommendations of the European Ombudsman; deplores the current EP policy on leave, which resulted in granting only 10 days of special leave to a father of two twins because of lack of a maternal link between him and his children; finds striking the contrast to the leave given to his husband in the Commission, who received 20 weeks of ad hoc special leave; takes note of the written answer of the EP administration where it is stated that EP services are working on new rules; calls for the EP administration to align its special leave policy with the Commission’s, which is in line with the best interest of the child; (¶132)

Watch the plenary debate here.

Consult the results of the roll-call votes on the amendment tabled here (page 151-152) (+601, -84, o16)

Consult the results of the roll-call final vote here (page 309-310) (final votes (691): +564, -90, o37)

EU Justice, Rights and Values Fund

The Commission proposed, in 2018, a new Justice, Rights and Values Fund, simplifying the existing programmes in this field, comprising the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values, and Justice programmes.

Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values (CERV) Program

“The Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values Programme, whose total budget will raise to €1.55 billion for seven years, focuses on the support to civil society organisations at local, regional, national and transnational level, dedicated to the promotion and protection of the EU common values enshrined in Article 2 of the EU Treaty.

Its specific objectives will be promoting equality -including gender equality- and non-discrimination, encouraging citizens’ engagement and participation in the democratic process, fighting violence and, for the first time in this programme, protecting the EU common values.

To these ends, it will have €641.7 million (in current prices) for the seven-year period. This amount could be increased with a maximum of €912 million, a key demand of the European Parliament negotiators.” (source: European Parliament Press release)

Rapporteure: Alice Bah Kuhnke, G-EFA

Justice Programme

“The Justice Programme’s goal is to foster an EU area of justice based on rule of law, mutual recognition, trust and judicial cooperation. The €305 million budget for the seven year period will support activities related to raising awareness, mutual learning, developing e-justice tools, helping civil society organisations and NGOs. In all its actions, the Programme also seeks to promote gender equality, the rights of the child, the protection of victims and the effective application of the principle of equal rights and non-discrimination in EU member state legal systems.” (source: European Parliament Press release)

Rapporteures: Heidi Hautala, G-EFA and Katarina Barley, S&D