The Group of the Party of European Socialists (PES Group) in the Committee of the Regions (CoR), in cooperation with Rainbow Rose is organising a seminar entitled "I am what I am: Promoting LGBTI rights in the EU".
The seminar, aims to raise awareness about striking divergences in the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in different EU Member States. It will foster the exchange of best practices at local and regional level in terms of LGBTI-friendly measures and will discuss their contribution towards effectively fighting discrimination against LGBTI people and taking forward social progress.
Equality is one of the founding values of the EU and discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation is prohibited. However, we are a long way away from equal treatment throughout the EU of LGBTI people, who still face multiple forms of discrimination.
Despite considerable advances in some EU Member States, social equality for LGBTI people remains an unattained goal. For example, the absence of equal civil recognition of same-sex relationships deprives them of a whole range of derived civil rights, such as rights to parenting and adoption as well as of social security and fiscal rights. At the same time, it limits access to public services such as social housing or health services.
Although equality of civil rights is a matter addressed at national level, the delivery of related services is dealt with at local and regional level, and this is where progressive politicians can make a difference. The same holds true when it comes to breaking stereotypes about LGBTI people through education and fighting hate crime. This is essential for changing regressive mindsets and promoting social inclusion.
Catiuscia Marini, President of the CoR PES Group
Aurélien Mazuy, President of Rainbow Rose
Helena Dalli, Malta's Minister for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties
Daniele Viotti, Member of the European Parliament (S&D Group, Italy), CoPresident of the EP's Intergroup on LGBT Rights
Chair: Kevin Peel, CoR PES Group Member, Member of Manchester City Council, UK
Jose María Núñez Blanco, LGBTI Activist and Lecturer at the University of Extremadura, Spain
Peter Bossman, CoR PES Group Member, Mayor of Piran, Slovenia
Juul van Hoof, Founder and Coordinator of the Rainbow Cities Network
María Estébanez, Senior Policy Manager, Department of Equality and Citizens’ Rights, EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA)
Chair: Ksenija Joksimovic, Member of the Board of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex Youth and Student Organisation (IGLYO)
Liliana Rodrigues, Member of the European Parliament (S&D Group, Portugal)
Elly Barnes, CEO and Founder of "Educate & Celebrate"
Giorgio Dell'Amico, Spokesperson on migration and asylum for Arcigay (Italy)
Katrin Hugendubel, Advocacy Director ofILGA-Europe, the European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA)