Press Statement on the Occasion of Ursula von der Leyen’s State of the European Union Speech

We wish to express our sincere concern and regret regarding the lack of progress on the vital issue of recognizing parenthood in the European Union, as promised by President Ursula von der Leyen during her tenure. While we acknowledge the challenges faced by the European Commission, we firmly believe that progress on this issue is long overdue and cannot be further delayed.

During her State of the European Union (SOTEU) speech in 2020, President von der Leyens stated: “If you are a parent in one country, you are a parent in every country.” This statement was met with hope and enthusiasm by LGBTIQ+ families and their allies, who have been advocating for equal rights for years. While the legal basis for such recognition may be complex, we believe that the European Commission has a moral and legal obligation to ensure that all families are treated with equality and dignity under EU law. As we have seen in various Member States, the absence of legal recognition for LGBTIQ+ families and their children can lead to discrimination, inequality, and a lack of legal protection. This situation is not in line with the values and principles of the European Union, which are grounded in the promotion of equality, non-discrimination, and the protection of fundamental rights.

We urge President von der Leyen and the European Commission to prioritize this issue, fulfill their commitment and push for the recognition of parenthood, in order to protect and fulfill the rights of LGBTIQ+ parents and their families. This includes working with Member States to harmonize legal standards, fostering a more inclusive and equal Europe for all.

MEP Malin Björk (The Left), Vice-chair of the European Parliament’s LGBTI Intergroup and LIBE rapporteur on the parenthood regulation report, states:

We cannot afford to delay progress on recognizing parenthood any longer. LGBTIQ+ parents and their children deserve the same legal protections and rights as any other family. It is high time that we fulfill the promises we have made to our citizens.

MEP Pierre Karleskind (Renew Europe), Vice-chair of the European Parliament’s LGBTI Intergroup and shadow rapporteur on the parenthood regulation report, concludes:

The European Union has long championed the values of equality and non-discrimination. It is crucial that we translate these principles into concrete actions by recognizing parenthood in all its diverse and beautiful forms. Only then can we truly say that we are protecting the rights of all families in Europe.