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Procedure : 2005/2666(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B6-0039/2006

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 16/01/2006 - 14
CRE 16/01/2006 - 14

Votes :

PV 18/01/2006 - 4.10

Texts adopted :


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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B6-0025/2006
11 January 2006
PE 368.262v01-00
to wind up the debate on the statement by the Commission
pursuant to Rule 103(2) of the Rules of Procedure
by Kathalijne Maria Buitenweg, Raül Romeva i Rueda, Elisabeth Schroedter, Monica Frassoni and Jean Lambert
on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group
on homophobia in Europe

European Parliament resolution on homophobia in Europe 

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 6 of the EU Treaty, which states that the EU is founded on the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law, and that it will ensure respect for fundamental rights as guaranteed by the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and the constitutional traditions common to the Member States, as general principles of Community law,

–  having regard to Article 7 of the EU Treaty, which entrusts EU institutions with a responsibility and mandate to ensure respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in the EU in cases of clear risk of a serious breach by a Member State of principles mentioned in Article 6(1),

–  having regard to Article 13 of the EC Treaty, which reaffirms the EU's commitment to fighting discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation,

–  having regard to Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which prohibits 'any discrimination based on any ground such as sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation',

–  having regard to the fact that the Barroso Commission has declared its attachment to ensuring respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in the EU and has set up a group of Commissioners responsible for human rights,

–  having regard to Rule 103(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

on anti-discrimination

A.  regretting that experienced and leading politicians and parties in Poland have expressed opinions constituting an incitement to discrimination against homosexuals,

B.  acknowledging that homosexuality was decriminalised in Poland already in 1932; regretting, however, that no legislation is yet in place protecting citizens against discrimination based on sexual orientation or identity,

C.  whereas the Latvian and Lithuanian parliaments recently tabled an amendment to their constitutions to prohibit same-sex marriage,

D.  whereas, under Directive 2000/43/EC of 29 June 2000 implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin, Member States are required to designate a body charged with the promotion of equal treatment, and whereas, in one of its first actions, the Polish Government announced the abolition of the Office of Plenipotentiary for Equal Status, the institution charged with combating discrimination and promoting equality for all, and proposed to substitute it with a Special Adviser for the Protection of Life,

E.   whereas the Commission stated in its 'Equality, Diversity and Enlargement' 2003 report on anti-discrimination in new Member States that in Poland 'further action seems to be required in order to ensure full conformity with the Racial Equality and Employment Equality Directives',

F.  whereas, in its Concluding Observations of 5 November 2005, the UN Human Rights Committee regrets that 'a general non-discrimination provision covering all appropriate grounds has not yet been introduced into national legislation',

G.  whereas several Member States have not yet implemented the race-equality directive and the directive on equality in the workplace in national legislation,

H.  whereas some Member States, such as the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and the United Kingdom, have recognised same-sex marriages or partnerships,

on equality marches

I.  whereas 'equality marches' in Poland defending and promoting the values of human rights, tolerance, equality for all and anti-discrimination have been routinely banned by local authorities, with the acquiescence of the central government,

J.  whereas the newly elected President of Poland, Lech Kaczynski, has on two occasions when Mayor of Warsaw banned peaceful anti-discrimination demonstrations and justified his decisions by saying that he is 'against propagating gay orientation',

K.  whereas the recent Equality March that took place on 20 November on the occasion of the celebrations of the International Day of Tolerance was again forbidden by the Mayor of Poznan, following pressure from leading politicians and political parties in Poland,

L.  whereas during the March several extreme right-wing protestors attacked the peaceful marchers, and whereas the police arrested around 60 of the marchers, who now risk being prosecuted and having prison sentences and fines imposed on them,

on the homophobic statements and climate

M.  whereas these events have taken place in a climate of rising homophobia, fostered by statements made by public figures,

N.  whereas, shortly after being named Prime Minister, Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz stated that homosexuality was 'unnatural' and that, if a person 'tries to infect others with their homosexuality, the state must intervene against this violation of freedom',

O.  whereas the current Minister of Culture, Kazimierz Michal Ujazdowski, is reported to have made threatening statements and to have said during an election meeting 'Let's not mistake the brutal propaganda of homosexual attitudes for calls for tolerance; for them our rule will indeed mean a dark night',

P.  whereas these statements are contributing to the current escalation of homophobic hatred that has led to violent events such as the shooting of GLBT activists,

Q.  whereas, in its Concluding Observations of 5 November 2005, the UN Human Rights Committee expressed its concern 'that the right of sexual minorities not to be discriminated against is not fully recognised, and that discriminatory acts and attitudes against persons on the ground of sexual orientation are not adequately investigated and punished',

on the EU Commission's reaction

R.  whereas the European Commission warned on 24 October 2005 that Poland must abide by Article 6 of the EU Treaty, and stressed that failure to comply with this provision could trigger Article 7 of the EU Treaty allowing the EU to deprive a Member State of its voting rights in the Council,

1.  Asks Polish politicians and political parties:

   to stop hate speech and incitement to discrimination and violence, in particular against minorities,
   to step up the fight against discrimination on all grounds;

2.  Requests the Latvian and Lithuanian parliaments, in the spirit of Article 13 of the EC Treaty, to withdraw the law prohibiting same-sex marriage;

3.  Welcomes the support expressed by local authorities in Germany and the Swedish Government for social movements in defending and promoting anti-discrimination measures;

4.  Urges the Council and the Commission to actively monitor the human rights situation in Poland as regards the issues highlighted in this resolution, to suggest measures to improve the situation, to immediately assess whether the decision to close the office of the Government Plenipotentiary for Equal Opportunities contravenes EC legislation and notably Directives 2000/43/EC and 2002/73/EC and, if so, to bring Poland before the European Court of Justice;

5.  Considers that, in case of persistence of risks for minority rights, it will be obliged to make use of the powers conferred on it by Article 7 of the EU Treaty;

6.  Expresses appreciation for the activity of European civil society organisations such as ILGA-Europe in the defence of equal rights for lesbians and gays and in the promotion of a more inclusive society Europe-wide;

7.   Urges the Commission to come up with a proposal for a directive on protection against discrimination on the basis of all the grounds mentioned in Article 13 of the EC Treaty, having the same scope as Directive 2000/43/EC;

8.  Urges the Commission to consider the use of criminal penalties in cases of violation of Article 13 directives;

9.  Urges the Commission to strictly monitor the implementation of the existing directives on anti-discrimination in all Member States;

10.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Polish and Latvian authorities, the Commission, the Council and the UN Human Rights Committee.

Last updated: 16 January 2006Legal notice