Plenary summary: New EU Strategy for enlargement, legal protection of rainbow families in light of the Baby Sara case and human rights in the context of the FIFA world cup in Qatar

During its November II plenary session, the European Parliament Plenary debated and voted on some files that relate to the human rights of LGBTI persons: 

New EU strategy for enlargement

On Tuesday, Members of the European Parliament debated the report on the New EU strategy for enlargement (rapporteur: Tonino Picula, S&D). The report was adopted on Wednesday.

The European Parliament made a number of recommendations to the Council, the Commission and the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, namely:

  • (a) recognise that the EU’s prosperity and security rests on its ability to defend and advance peace, democracy, the rule of law, human rights including minority rights, fundamental freedoms and values, and the rules-based multilateral order, including in its immediate neighbourhood;
  • (b) advance the EU’s enlargement policy as the single most effective EU instrument for securing peace, prosperity and fundamental values on the European continent;
  • (be) insist on the need to build an inclusive society free from discrimination, racism, violent nationalism and extremism; focus on the protection of minorities, including Roma, LGBTIQ+ persons, ethnic and religious communities, and persons with disabilities as well as on the preservation of cultural and linguistic diversity; mainstream gender equality and the rights of women and girls, empower and invest in women and young people, and step up the fight against gender-based violence;

Watch the plenary debate here.

Consult the results of the roll-call final vote here (page 63-64) (final votes (638): +502, -75, o61).

Legal protection for rainbow families exercising free movement, in particular the Baby Sara case

On Wednesday, Members of the European Parliament debated the Legal protection for rainbow families exercising free movement, in particular the Baby Sara case. The debate was elicited by an Oral Question tabled by the LGBTI Intergroup in October 2022 and no resolution was foreseen.

The debate focused on the emblematic case of Baby Sara to shed light on the lack of legal protection for rainbow families, despite the landmark Court of Justice of the EU’s judgement in 2021. Equally, it preceded the publication of the Regulation on mutual recognition of parenthood among Member States, scheduled for 7 December.

Watch the plenary debate here.

Situation of human rights in the context of the FIFA world cup in Qatar

On Monday, Members of the European Parliament also debated the situation of human rights in the context of the FIFA world cup in Qatar. The debate was not supposed to be accompanied by a resolution, yet a request by the Left Group on Monday requested at the opening of the plenary session led to a majority in favor of an accompanying resolution. The resolution was adopted on Thursday.

The Parliament highlighted a number of concerns in relation to human rights in Qatar, mentioning specifically:

  • 23.  Notes the global trend towards decriminalising consensual same-sex relations; calls on Qatar to repeal Article 285 of its criminal code and all other related laws used to criminalise consensual same-sex sexual relations, and to introduce legislation against discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression; deplores the reports of abuses to the LGBTQ+ community by the Preventive Security Department forces of Qatar and their use of Law No 17 of 2002 on Protection of Community, which allows for provisional detention without charge or trial for up to six months; is appalled, in this context, by FIFA’s decision regarding the ‘OneLove’ armbands;
  • 24.  Calls on the Qatari authorities to ensure respect for the human rights of all persons attending the 2022 World Cup, including international guests and those living in the country, including for their freedom of religion and belief;

Watch the plenary debate here.

The resolution was adopted by a show of hands.

For a complete list of all texts (and specific paragraphs) in this legislature touching upon LGBTI issues, check our List of resources available here.