Plenary summary: equal rights for persons with disabilities, Association Agreement with Georgia and deliberations on citizens’ petitions in 2021
During its December I plenary session, the European Parliament Plenary debated and voted on some files that relate to the human rights of LGBTI persons:
- Towards equal rights for persons with disabilities – Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE)
- Implementation of the EU Association Agreement with Georgia – Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET)
- Outcome of the Committee on Petitions’ deliberations during 2021 – Committee on Petitions (PETI)
- (Note: For a complete list of all texts (and specific paragraphs) in this legislature touching upon LGBTI issues, check our List of resources available here.)
On Monday, Members of the European Parliament debated the report Towards equal rights for persons with disabilities (rapporteur: Anne-Sophie PELLETIER, Left). The report was adopted on Tuesday.
The European Parliament recalled, as laid down in Article 19 of the CRPD, that persons with disabilities have the right to live independently and receive appropriate community-based services. It added that it believes that this right can only be fully guaranteed if policies and legislation that offer alternatives to institutions are developed at national, regional and local levels, and are guided by European standards.
In particular, it mentioned:
- 22. Denounces the fact that some persons with disabilities are at greater risk of being the victim of some kind of discrimination and violence, such as women and girls, children, elderly, people experiencing homelessness, detainees, migrants and refugees, racialised persons and persons from ethnic backgrounds, such as Roma people, as well as LGBTIQ+ people; calls on the Commission and the Member States to address the specific challenges, rights and needs of these people through targeted measures to ensure access to justice, to victim assistance, support services and protection services and to remove barriers to reporting discrimination and violence;
On Tuesday, Members of the European Parliament debated the Implementation of the EU Association Agreement with Georgia (rapporteur: Sven MISKER, S&D). The report was adopted on Wednesday.
The European Parliament welcomed the decision of the European Council to recognise the European perspective of Georgia, within its internationally recognised borders and notes that this decision is a strong signal of political support for the European aspirations of the people of Georgia. It therefore urged Georgia to seize this historic window of opportunity and reiterated that to be granted candidate status, Georgia needs to successfully address the 12 key priorities indicated by the Commission.
Concerning the situation of LGBTIQ people, it stated:
- 28. Condemns the violence committed against peaceful participants of the Tbilisi Pride march on 5 July 2021 and the journalists covering the event; strongly denounces the lack of diligent investigations into or prosecutions of those responsible for organising the violence; […]urges the Georgian Government to uphold the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, and calls on Georgian authorities to ensure the safety of demonstrators;
- 29. Calls on the authorities to ensure the protection of human rights, in particular those of women and other vulnerable groups, such as the LGBTQI+ community and ethnic minorities, and to fully implement human rights and anti-discrimination legislation in practice and effectively combat impunity for all violations of human rights […]; urges the adoption of the 2021-2030 human rights strategy and action plan; […]
- 31. Condemns the continued discrimination of LGBTQI+ groups and persons, including in labour, health, social and economic areas, as well as their targeting by ultra-nationalist hate groups;
On Wednesday, Members of the European Parliament debated the Outcome of the Committee on Petitions’ deliberations during 2021 (rapporteur: Loránt VINCZE, EPP). The report was adopted on Thursday.
The European Parliament emphasized the fundamental role of the Committee on Petitions in protecting and promoting the rights of EU citizens and residents by ensuring that petitioners’ concerns and complaints are examined in a timely, effective, appropriate and non-discriminatory manner, and that the petitioners are informed about the actions taken and progress made on their petitions, and that they are resolved through an open, democratic and transparent petitions process.
In particular, it mentioned:
- 11. Underlines that increased attention should be given to the adoption of a European legislative act that enshrines the recognition of LGBTIQ+ rights;
- 23. Draws attention to the significant number of petitions discussed in relation with various aspects of the protection of the rights of rainbow families in the EU, in particular the different stances regarding the free movement and mutual recognition rights of LGBTIQ+ families in the EU; […] draws attention to the report of the Committee on Petitions of 15 July 2021 on LGBTIQ rights in the EU, wherein it calls for the Commission to take concrete measures to ensure protection for LGBTIQ+ families in line with the Court of Justice of the European Union judgments […];