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Martedì 22 ottobre 2019 - Strasburgo Edizione rivista

18. Portare avanti la direttiva orizzontale contro la discriminazione (discussione)
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  Der Präsident. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die Aussprache über die Erklärungen des Rates und der Kommission über die horizontale Antidiskriminierungsrichtlinie – Fortschritte erzielen (2019/2877(RSP)).

 
  
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  Tytti Tuppurainen, President-in-Office of the Council. – Mr President, it is my pleasure to join you for this debate on this important file: the proposal for a horizontal equal treatment directive. We all agree on the importance of the principle of equal treatment, as well as of the fight against all forms of discrimination. However, Member States choose different ways of combating discrimination.

The vital importance of this Directive stems from the fact that it would fill in the existing gaps in the EU legislation concerning the development and the implementation of measures in the field of equal treatment across Europe. The proposal covers four grounds for discrimination: religion and belief, disability, age and sexual orientation. The aim of the proposal is to extend the protection against discrimination on these grounds beyond employment and also to other areas such as access to goods and services.

After the proposal was tabled in 2008, the European Parliament quickly agreed on a legislative resolution which would feed, through the consultation process, into the decision—making. On the Council side, in the 11 years since the proposal was published, each Presidency has had this file on their agenda. Due to its legal basis, in order to adopt it, unanimity in the Council is required and, unfortunately, this requirement is difficult to achieve. Remaining challenges concern the division of competences, legal certainty and the financial implications of the proposal, among other things. Thus, for the time being, the Council common position seems to remain out of reach.

A lot of effort was invested in the discussions so far, as testified by the successive progress reports. We have understood that discussing the text further at this point would not do much to remove the existing deadlock. This is why we, under our Presidency, decided to launch a broader exchange of views on non-discrimination at different levels, the culmination of which will be the policy debate at the next EPSCO meeting on 24 October, actually just two days from now. We expect a fruitful and constructive debate. We hope it will also inspire and feed into the work and the future commitments of the incoming Commission in this policy field.

The aim of the debate is twofold. Firstly, we will take stock of the current situation and challenges in non-discrimination in the EU in general, and second, we will explore possible ways forward in this area. In other words, we want to identify the types of measures and actions needed for ensuring the effective implementation of the principle of equal treatment in order to efficiently advance the EU’s fight against discrimination beyond the field of employment.

We hope that, as a result of the policy debate, we will get a better feel of Member States’ vision for the future of anti-discrimination in the EU. Hopefully, it will also provide motivation for Member States to look at the proposal again from the new perspective. We are optimistic and ambitious but, at the same time, as the Presidency, we want to respect different national views and listen carefully to the concerns of all Member States concerning this key proposal.

We consider that the upcoming policy debate is important and timely. Its outcome might serve as a basis for devising new steps towards progress. I would still like to emphasise that equal treatment is a principle enshrined in our Treaties and reiterated in the European Pillar of Social Rights and in several UN conventions ratified by the Union. All European citizens have the right to be treated equally and be free of discrimination. Apart from this inherent right, it is also economically and socially beneficial if everyone is provided with the opportunity to fully participate in society. It is clear that our work is not yet done in this area, and we still have a long way to go. I do not think any Member of the Council would contest this. The question is rather about the way we move ahead. In this regard, I am confident that our debate among EPSCO Ministers will prove to be a fruitful exchange.

We commend the Parliament in its committed work in the fight against discrimination and the promotion of equal treatment. It was with great interest that we took note of Parliament’s several valuable contributions concerning this issue, including your resolutions on fundamental rights, on protection of minorities, and more recently, on women’s rights and gender equality, to name just a few. I’m looking forward to hearing your views on this important matter.

 
  
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  Věra Jourová, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, honourable Members, discrimination has no place in our Union, regardless of whether it takes place within or outside the employment sphere, and regardless of whether it is based on racial origin, sex, disability, religion or beliefs, age or sexual orientation. This is why the adoption of a Horizontal Equal Treatment Directive is so crucial. It would ensure that equality applies to everyone and in all aspects of life. For many years, the European Parliament has been expressing its support for the proposal and I want to use this opportunity to thank the Parliament for your determination and your sustained cooperation.

We have some new figures from the Eurobarometer on discrimination, which will be released in two days on 24 October. We notice very little progress at EU level when it comes to perceptions and attitudes on discrimination compared with the figures we have from 2015. According to the existing figures, 53% of Europeans say that discrimination is widespread on the ground of sexual orientation in their country. For people of Roma origin, the figure is even worse – 61% of Europeans say that there is discrimination on those grounds. For those who identify as gay, lesbians, bisexual, transgender or intersex, 58% say they have felt discriminated against in the last 12 months.

There is thus enough evidence of discrimination being widespread. This is not only harmful for the affected individuals and groups; it is also costly for our societies. A 2018 report shows that the gap in equality legislation leads to costs and losses in terms of GDP and tax revenue. To use a single example, individual impacts in the area of race and ethnicity include lost earnings of up to EUR 8 billion and demonstrably higher risks of economic hardship.

To address this situation, the Commission has been striving since 2008 for the adoption of its proposal for a Horizontal Equal Treatment Directive, and we will not give up on it. We are working hard with the Council to overcome the political blockage and to start real work on the remaining technical issues. At the Social Affairs Council meeting on Thursday, we are going to hold a political debate on this issue and, as we heard from the Presidency, this file requires unanimity. However, we must not give up and we will try again and again.

We will spare no effort to have the current proposal adopted and settle the issues in relation to its implementation and costs, in light of advances such as the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with a Disability and the adoption of the European Accessibility Act.

I want to thank the Finnish Presidency for organising a policy debate on enhancing non-discrimination. I will participate in the Council debate this Thursday, and the outputs of the Council will be key for our further efforts to overcome the current impasse. The debate will have a clear mission for me: to urge the Council for progress on the file and express my wish for an agreement to be reached.

 
  
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  Maria Walsh, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Mr President, let me begin by saying that I was delighted to hear that both the Finnish Presidency and the Commissioner—designate for Equality, Helena Dalli, have made firm commitments over the past number of weeks to prioritise either improvements on, or the revision of, this file. It is incredibly important that both the Presidency and the Commission recognise the urgent need for movement on this directive.

It is imperative that we come up with a roadmap, not only on how to get this file off the ground, but also on how to close the legislative gap against discrimination covered by the proposed directive. These gaps leave substantial numbers of our citizens vulnerable to discrimination based on inherently personal qualities like their age, their disability, sexual orientation or religious beliefs.

In the past 11 years, the world has moved on. Many EU countries have adopted more progressive equality laws and improved non—discrimination protection for their citizens. EU legislation in this area is lagging behind – and hearing the previous speakers, I think we’re all in agreement of that.

We cannot continue to be world leaders when it comes to the protection of human rights if we fail as an institution to enshrine these rights in this directive. The twin principles of equality and non—discrimination are the bedrock of the international human rights framework. The prohibition of discrimination is the only right set out in all nine core international human rights treaties. Discrimination is frequently identified by international and regional human rights bodies as one of the greatest human rights challenges facing EU Member States. We need to change that. We must send a clear message that human rights are non—negotiable, and the best way of doing that is to start right here at home.

 
  
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  Sylvie Guillaume, au nom du groupe S&D. – Monsieur le Président, en mars 2009, il y a donc maintenant plus de dix ans, nous avons voté en commission des libertés civiles, de la justice et des affaires intérieures les termes d’une directive destinée à lutter contre les discriminations basées sur la religion, le handicap, l’âge ou encore l’orientation sexuelle, et ce dans tous les domaines de la vie. Pourtant, depuis ce vote, rien n’a réellement bougé.

Il y a dix ans, j’imagine que nos prédécesseurs pensaient qu’un texte progressiste comme celui-ci, destiné à trouver des solutions, ferait consensus au Conseil et serait adopté rapidement. Naïveté! Les représentants des États membres n’ont pas été capables de se mettre d’accord et se sont, une nouvelle fois, pour beaucoup d’entre eux, camouflés derrière des arguments de coût financier.

Alors, sérieusement, est-ce que les conditions se sont radicalement améliorées sur le terrain des discriminations? Est-ce que les attaques contre certains groupes minoritaires ont cessé brutalement et leurs conditions de vie se sont améliorées? Est-ce que les personnes en situation de handicap peuvent affirmer que l’éducation, le travail, le logement, le transport leur sont ouverts de façon équivalente aux personnes valides? Sérieusement, bien sûr que non! Et c’est ce genre de comportement de blocage qui mine la réputation de l’Union européenne et de ses représentants, et qui donne l’impression qu’on ne s’intéresse pas aux problèmes concrets et sérieux que rencontrent les démocraties.

Parce que l’Union européenne est le meilleur niveau d’action et dispose d’un cadre pour lutter contre les discriminations et protéger ceux qui en sont victimes, nous devons sortir de l’enlisement. C’est pourquoi, Madame – je vous ai bien entendue –, je saisis cette occasion qui se présente avec l’arrivée d’une nouvelle Commission, mais aussi d’une Présidence finlandaise, pour vous interpeller.

 
  
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  Maite Pagazaurtundúa, en nombre del Grupo Renew. – Señor presidente, la Directiva espera en la mesa del Consejo desde hace diez años —nosotros queremos apoyar a la comisaria Jourová—, y eso que la prohibición de la discriminación es el único derecho establecido en todos los tratados internacionales y en el artículo 2 del Tratado de la Unión.

Hay personas concretas, con nombres y apellidos, a las que se niegan derechos ligados con la dignidad humana. Algunas discriminaciones están identificadas con claridad, aunque no bien atendidas; otras son menos conocidas. En estos tiempos conocemos fanáticos organizados con discursos de odio para impedir a otros pensar y vivir sin ser acosados. La libertad de conciencia es la base de las sociedades democráticas.

Por ejemplo, en mi país, en Cataluña, para construir un Estado identitario se ha llegado a prácticas de discriminación desde el Gobierno de la región. Hace años que se impide a las familias elegir que los niños puedan hacer sus primeras letras en la lengua familiar —como aconseja la Unesco—, si la lengua familiar es el español. Este mismo año, una profesora causó lesiones a una niña de diez años porque pintó una bandera que no era la que la profesora quería: ella no quería una bandera nacional. Y hay niños acosados por el oficio de sus padres. Es discriminación por fobia ideológica. Tenemos mucho que aprender.

El fanatismo discriminatorio es un riesgo de nuestra época. No podemos permitir que se impongan «tsunamis» fundamentalistas ni fanáticos en ningún rincón de Europa. Necesitamos, fervientemente, esta Directiva; tendrán todo nuestro apoyo para conseguirla.

 
  
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  Magid Magid, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, there are times when politics and politicians show great courage and make difficult, painful, agonising, challenging and torturous decisions. Fellow MEPs and European governments: on the question of the Horizontal Anti-Discrimination Directive, this is simply not one of those times. It is easy – the European public is ahead of you. They are frustrated by you; they are confused by your objections. They understand non-discrimination with greater sophistication and greater urgency than any EU institution. We cannot accept for our people a hierarchy of discrimination, criteria, or the fact that the moment you leave the workplace, the law is no longer an ally.

What the public do need is for a self-evident fact to be enshrined in law. From the shores of Lampedusa to the Arctic Circle, from the coast of Portugal to the beaches of the Black Sea. What is fair treatment for one European should be fair treatment for another. For 11 years we have waited, and for 11 years the Council has stalled. On this, the Parliament and the Commission have been united. If the weight of unanimity from the European Council is for reducing Europeans citizens to second-class status, then – as the rapporteur for the European Parliament – I ask as firmly as is polite that the Council activists the passerelle clause provided in Article 48, paragraph 7, of the Treaty on European Union in order to move from unanimity to qualified majority voting. Let us be uncompromising for justice, and let us create a union of consistency, human dignity, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights.

 
  
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  Nicolaus Fest, im Namen der ID-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident! Laut Eurobarometer 2015 haben 21 % der Befragten angegeben, in den letzten zwölf Monaten diskriminiert worden zu sein. Von diesen 21 % fühlte sich ein Drittel der Befragten wegen ihres Alters diskriminiert, weil sie nämlich älter als 55 oder jünger als 30 waren. Dass man es als diskriminierend empfinden kann, jünger als 30 zu sein, war mir neu. Ich würde einiges dafür geben, aus diesem Grunde diskriminiert zu werden. 2 % der Befragten fühlten sich wegen ihrer sexuellen Orientierung, 1 % wegen Transsexualität diskriminiert. Wissenschaftlich liegen Werte von 1 bis 2 % an der Grenze dessen, was man statistisch seriös feststellen kann. Entgegen allem Diskriminierungsgerede muss man daher feststellen: Sexuelle Diskriminierung war 2015 in Europa kein Thema mehr, und wer den Christopher Street Day oder die Love Parade je erlebt hat, wird dem zustimmen. Das ist eine großartige Entwicklung.

Übrig bleiben daher drei Felder der Diskriminierung: Religion, ethnische Gründe und Alter. Die Diskriminierung älterer Arbeitnehmer im Berufsleben ist oft eher eine Reaktion der Arbeitgeber auf überzogene Regeln des Kündigungsschutzes. Wenn man hier ansetzt, wird auch die angebliche Diskriminierung verschwinden. Bleiben Religion und Ethnie: Diese Diskriminierungen sind auch eine Folge der Migrationspolitik. Aus Berlin und vielen anderen deutschen Städten ist bekannt, dass muslimische Vermieter nicht an Christen, Homosexuelle oder Juden vermieten, muslimische Taxiunternehmer stellen keine Farbigen ein, indische und asiatische Restaurantbesitzer oftmals keine Muslime. Es ist daher ganz einfach: Die multikulturelle Gesellschaft der offenen Grenzen ist die Gesellschaft der Diskriminierung. Und auch, wenn Sie tausend Gesetze erlassen, werden Sie diese Diskriminierung nicht aus dem Alltag entfernen können.

 
  
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  Malin Björk, för GUE/NGL-gruppen. – Herr talman! Vi lever i ett Europa där högernationalistiska och högerextrema flyttar fram sina positioner. Vissa av oss är extra utsatta för deras rasism, deras sexism, deras homofobi, deras funkofobi, deras hat och deras hot. I det läget måste länderna och EU:s institutioner – rådet, kommissionen, parlamentet – göra allt vi kan och ni kan för att ta varje möjlighet att stå upp mot de krafterna. Och det är det här det handlar om. Vi måste stå upp någon gång mot de som vill exkludera, de som vill diskriminera och förtrycka vissa av oss.

Ett sätt att göra det är genom att anta det horisontella antidiskrimineringsdirektivet. Ett antidiskrimineringsdirektiv löser inte alla orättvisor – det blir inte jämlikhet med ett penseldrag. Men det är ett steg i rätt riktning, och det är precis det vi behöver i en tid där så mycket går åt fel håll. Det har gått mer än tio år. Det har gått mer än tio år och vi kommer att hålla ögonen på er nu. För det här det håller inte. Vi behöver se en annan riktning.

 
  
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  Laura Ferrara (NI). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, il principio di non discriminazione è previsto dal diritto dell'Unione europea ed è espressamente citato in numerose disposizioni dei trattati.

Nonostante ciò, attendiamo da più di dieci anni che venga approvata una direttiva orizzontale che proibisca forme di discriminazione, anche al di fuori dell'ambito lavorativo. Discriminazioni basate su religione o su convinzioni personali, sulle disabilità, sull'età o sull'orientamento sessuale e che riguardano l'accesso a beni e servizi pubblici, inclusi alloggi, istruzione e protezione sociale. Tale questione è dunque strettamente connessa non soltanto al godimento di diritti fondamentali che riguardano milioni di cittadini europei, ma anche al pieno sviluppo della persona umana.

Come si può pensare, allora, di combattere disuguaglianze e disparità di trattamento ancora diffuse negli Stati membri se, a livello europeo, non riusciamo a dotarci di norme minime atte a garantire una più efficace uniforme tutela contro gli atti discriminatori? Bene, sarebbe ora di avere una legislazione e delle politiche dirette a promuovere l'uguaglianza tanto formale quanto sostanziale, per avere un'Europa più coesa sia dal punto di vista economico che dal punto di vista sociale.

 
  
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  Jiří Pospíšil (PPE). – Pane předsedající, já vítám iniciativu paní komisařky vrátit se k návrhu antidiskriminační směrnice, který 10 let leží v Radě, je podle mě načase debatu znovu otevřít.

Na druhou stranu jako člověk, který v České republice byl odpovědný za implementaci antidiskriminačních předpisů, které se týkaly zaměstnání, vím, že je to téma, které vzbuzuje obrovské emoce. Ostatně to, že 10 let leží v Radě, je důkazem, že ta cesta není jednoduchá. Takže gratuluju k té odvaze, je to podle mého názoru potřeba, potřebujeme obecnou antidiskriminační právní úpravu.

Na druhou stranu bude asi předmětem dalších politických debat, jak konkrétně ta směrnice má vypadat. Jestli po 10 letech nemá být trošku pozměněna, protože u antidiskriminačních předpisů je, jak se říká, ďábel zakopán v detailu, to znamená, aby ta úprava opravdu pomáhala potřebným, aby měla obecný charakter, netýkala se pouze sociálních věcí zaměstnanců, ale aby na druhou stranu také nevedla k tomu, že bude zneužívána, aby nevedla k budování rovnostářské společnosti. Má vést k budování společnosti, která všem dá rovné šance, a to jsou témata, která je třeba debatovat opětovně v orgánech Evropské unie jak na úrovni Rady, která zkrátka nyní politicky směrnici blokuje, nedebatuje věcně o jejím obsahu, tak asi i na úrovni Parlamentu, protože v konečném důsledku by to měl být moderní text, a podle mého názoru musí doznat změn oproti té podobě, která před 10 lety začala být projednávána.

 
  
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  Claude Moraes (S&D). – Mr President, how long? Not how long I’m going to be here in the European Union, but for how long to speak? One minute?

Somebody got the joke. This is a very special directive, President, and I really congratulate the Finnish Presidency for putting it on the EPSCO Council on Thursday. It’s not 10 years; it’s 11 years I think that we’ve waited for this to happen.

I’m a veteran of the Race Equality Directive. I’ve seen the Gender Directive. But this is very special; this is horizontal. When we have the European Union we currently have and we say we are a European Union of values, to have such a directive on such big areas such as age discrimination, disability, LGBT, is very special. We know, and the Commissioner has said, that it is a question of implementation and, as our colleague just mentioned, implementing such complex legislation is also very difficult.

I want to leave these two messages for colleagues today. Good anti-discrimination legislation changes society and helps the individual, and good horizontal EU discrimination legislation will change the European Union if we publicise it and we implement it. This is the prospect that we have here, and I hope we take this opportunity in hand.

 
  
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  Michal Šimečka (Renew). – Mr President, equality must be and is at the heart of what defines the European Union as a political project. Yet, we have millions of European citizens suffering every day with discrimination in terms of access to public services, or in other aspects of social life. The European Union is failing those citizens because of the blockage of this horizontal directive for the past 10 years.

In my own country, in Slovakia, deep prejudice and discrimination, often multiple, persist against the Roma minority, and especially against Roma women. Likewise, the LGBTI community still lacks full legal and political recognition. More importantly, the situation of minorities is getting more and more fragile, given the more hostile political climate in some Member States, where minorities are often targeted and scapegoated by xenophobic and extremist political forces. This is why it is all the more important that this horizontal initiative is again given a try, and that the European Union pushes back against discrimination.

 
  
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  Alice Kuhnke (Verts/ALE). – Herr talman! Hur är det möjligt att vi efter så lång tid har uppnått så lite? Elva år har gått sedan förslaget arbetades fram. Elva år utan framsteg, elva år av fortsatta blockeringar av vissa medlemsländer, elva år utan att ha lyckas. Vi kan bättre, vi måste kunna bättre än så här.

Vi måste det för alla dem som varje dag utsätts för diskriminering på grund av vem de är, vad de tror på, på grund av sin fysiska eller psykiska förmåga, på grund av sin sexuella läggning. Vi gröna kräver att vi går från ord till handling. Därför kräver vi att man efter rådsmötet i Luxemburg den 24 oktober presenterar en lista med konkreta förslag på hur vi kan försäkra oss om att principen om likabehandling gäller i alla EU-länder.

 
  
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  Teuvo Hakkarainen (ID). – Arvoisa puhemies, arvoisa ministeri Tuppurainen, yhdenvertainen kohtelu joillakin elämänalueilla voi olla hyvin ongelmallista. Jos esimerkiksi syntyy joku väkivaltainen ääri-islami tai uskonto tai jos sellainen on jo olemassa, tuo taho tai sen edustajat voivat käyttää hyväkseen yhdenvertaisuutta monellakin tapaa – jopa siten, että heidän väkivaltaista maailmankatsomustaan ja sen toteuttamista voi olla vaikea estää.

Yhdenvertaisuutta ja tasa-arvoa pohtiessa ja käsiteltäessä tulisi aina olla terve käytännön järki kaiken perustana. Tällaista direktiiviä ei pystyttäisi toimeenpanemaan tasapuolisesti millään. Sen lisäksi se loukkaa jäsenmaiden kansallista toimivaltaa. Siksi esitys ei tule menestymään nyt eikä tulevaisuudessa.

Rasismin ytimessä on kyvyttömyys nähdä ihmisiä yksilöinä. Sen sijaan ihmiset nähdään ryhmäidentiteettien kautta.

 
  
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  Eugenia Rodríguez Palop (GUE/NGL). – Señor presidente, esta Directiva —que lleva diez años bloqueada en el Consejo— ha quedado ya abiertamente superada en muchos países. Así que hoy en la Unión Europea no todos somos iguales, ni siquiera en el sentido mínimo que plantea la Directiva. Puedes ser un ciudadano de primera o de segunda, según el país en el que vivas. A esto hay que añadir un tratamiento fragmentado de las causas de la discriminación, razón por la cual en la práctica hay quien sufre segregación, delitos motivados por el odio y exclusión social. Ahí está la población romaní, por ejemplo, el colectivo LGTBIQ o las personas con discapacidad.

La Directiva es además insuficiente. No se menciona la identidad sexual, de modo que se ignora la transfobia. El acoso se define de manera limitada. No aparece ninguna referencia a la desagregación de datos ni a la discriminación múltiple. No se transversaliza la igualdad. Y el ámbito de su aplicación es muy restringido.

¿De verdad merece llamarse Europa la que considera peligrosa una Directiva que establece estándares de igualdad que ya no superan ni siquiera los filtros mínimos exigibles? Si la igualdad no es cosa de Europa, ¿qué podemos esperar de la Unión Europea?

 
  
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  Rosa Estaràs Ferragut (PPE). – Señor presidente, efectivamente, en el año 2008, la Comisión presenta la Directiva contra la discriminación para minorías religiosas —para el caso de la religión— y en caso de discapacidad, de edad o de orientación sexual.

Son muchos los colectivos que están sometidos a discriminación y, once años después —yo llevo aquí diez años—, seguimos en el debate dos mil, tras miles de resoluciones del Parlamento en las que se pide al Consejo que deje de bloquear esta Directiva. Es una Directiva que habla de convivencia; es una Directiva que habla de tolerancia; es una Directiva que habla de derechos fundamentales; es una Directiva que habla de igualdad. Eso es el corazón de Europa; eso es el corazón del por qué estamos aquí. Eso es el ADN de este Parlamento y es el ADN de la Comisión y del Consejo.

Y el Consejo se pone en contra por un mal entendido principio de subsidiariedad, porque hablamos de igualdad en la educación, en la protección social, en el acceso a bienes y servicios o en la atención sanitaria.

Hemos aprobado un pilar social porque a Europa le faltaba alma social, y tenemos una Directiva de igualdad bloqueada en el Consejo; ochenta millones de personas discapacitadas están esperando que seamos coherentes. Si hemos aprobado la Convención de Naciones Unidas sobre los Derechos de las Personas con Discapacidad, ¿cómo podemos tener esa Directiva en un cajón once años, porque algún Estado miembro cree que conculca el principio de no sé qué?

Por lo tanto, hago un llamamiento al Consejo y a la Comisión: o bien hacemos un procedimiento de mayoría cualificada o bien el Consejo reflexiona y se cree de verdad lo que es la igualdad.

 
  
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  Heléne Fritzon (S&D). – Herr talman! Det är en viktig debatt i kväll. De grupper som i dag utsätts för diskriminering på grund av ålder, funktionsnedsättning, religion och trosuppfattning samt sexuell läggning har inte samma skydd som andra grupper. Det är djupt allvarligt. Vi skriver 2019, och att lagstiftningen har varit blockerad i elva år gör att medlemsstaterna sänder helt fel signaler. Det blir ju så att en viss typ av diskriminering anses mer accepterad än annan. Det är helt oacceptabelt. Det är djupt orättvist för de grupper av människor som egentligen behöver det här stödet och känner den här nyttan allra mest. Personer som utsätts på grund av sin ålder, religion eller sexuella läggning har rätt till ett skydd. Jag vill att EU agerar och jag vill se det horisontella antidiskrimineringsskyddet nu.

 
  
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  Sylvie Brunet (Renew). – Monsieur le Président, il est important que nous ayons aujourd'hui ce débat, dans un contexte de multiplication des actes discriminatoires, notamment homophobes, dans tous nos pays. Notre Europe est fondée sur des valeurs; nous souhaitons protéger les catégories les plus vulnérables de notre société et lutter contre toutes les formes de discrimination. Or, ce sont les femmes, les personnes handicapées, les personnes LGBTI et les minorités ethniques qui sont souvent les plus exposées au risque de discrimination.

En son temps, la Commission a lancé une proposition plus large car l'égalité de traitement était couverte uniquement dans les domaines de l'emploi et du travail. En 2009, le Parlement a fait sa part du travail. Je tiens à rappeler en particulier ici son souci d'élargir le champ couvert par le texte afin de lutter efficacement contre les discriminations multiples ou encore les discriminations par association, car beaucoup de personnes sont exposées au risque de double discrimination.

Le problème est que le texte a depuis lors, comme vous le savez, été bloqué au Conseil. Il est important que cette directive soit débloquée car nous devons parler de droits concrets et effectifs. Le texte concerne l'accès à la protection sociale, à l'éducation, aux biens et aux services, tels que le logement, par exemple. J'espère que le signal envoyé par notre Parlement a été entendu aujourd'hui.

 
  
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  Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana (Verts/ALE). – Monsieur le Président, il est inadmissible que la directive transversale soit bloquée depuis onze ans. Elle remet en cause le pacte social et nie la valeur d’égalité entre les individus. Au lieu d’améliorer la protection des citoyens et des citoyennes en Europe, on a plutôt un système qui renforce l’idée d’une hiérarchie de l’oppression. Il est impératif que le Conseil agisse et débloque cette directive en envoyant un message fort déclarant que les discriminations fondées sur la base de l’orientation sexuelle, du handicap, de la religion ou de l’âge, ne seront pas tolérées au sein de l’Union européenne.

Il est plus que jamais important, compte tenu de l’intensification des discriminations et de la violence basée sur la haine de l’autre, que l’extrême droite propage, d’introduire une politique de lutte contre les discriminations qui nous protège tous. C’est un défi que nous devons relever. L’Union européenne doit être le fer de lance en ce qui concerne le respect de la diversité et de la dignité humaine, qui sont le levain de nos sociétés.

 
  
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  Christine Anderson (ID). – Herr Präsident! Es ist wirklich unglaublich! Wir reden hier über die horizontale Diskriminierungsrichtlinie. Das heißt, dass nun auch all jene Menschen vor Diskriminierung geschützt werden müssen, die von multipler Diskriminierung betroffen sind. Ist das eigentlich Ihr Ernst? Europa muss eine einzige Diskriminierungshölle sein. Es stellt sich die Frage, warum Millionen von Menschen ausgerechnet nach Europa in diese Diskriminierungshölle flüchten.

Aber egal, es war eine rhetorische Frage. Merken Sie eigentlich nicht, dass Sie zur Identifizierung Ihrer Gruppen von Unterdrückten genau jene Kriterien zugrunde legen, von denen Sie doch behaupten, sie dürften überhaupt keine Rolle mehr spielen? Sie teilen die angeblich Diskriminierten ein: nach Hautfarbe, nach Religion, nach Geschlecht, nach sexueller Orientierung. Es ist Ihre Ideologie, die geradezu davon lebt, dass es diese Merkmale gibt. Sie zelebrieren sie und erfinden täglich neue. Sie bezeichnen sich als Menschenfreunde. Für mich ist das nichts weiter als verlogenes Gutmenschentum.

 
  
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  Clare Daly (GUE/NGL). – Mr President, I think it is an indictment on all of our institutions that we have just celebrated the 11th anniversary of the failure of the Horizontal Anti-Discrimination Directive – a directive which is clearly long overdue.

I just want to give an example of a woman friend of mine, a person with a disability, who relies on using straws for the basic necessities of her daily life and whose life is going to be affected by the Single-Use Plastics Directive. She’s obviously very happy to help the environment, but her problem is that the Irish Government are giving a derogation for medical use. People with disabilities are not sick; disability is a social problem. They’re disabled by society, by customs, institutions, and laws, and you couldn’t have a better example, as far as I am concerned, of a law that medicalises her, that says there’s something wrong with her, even when they are trying to help her.

This type of discrimination is rampant, but it’s not a technical problem. It won’t be sorted by a quick-fix, qualified majority vote to circumvent Member States’ vetos. We need real, meaningful dialogue that addresses the root causes of discrimination.

 
  
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  Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D). – Señor presidente, ministra Tuppurainen, comisaria Vera Jourová, futura vicepresidenta de Valores y Transparencia de la Comisión.

Hace ahora diez años entró en vigor el Tratado de Lisboa, la Carta de los Derechos Fundamentales de la Unión Europea y, dentro del Tratado de la Unión Europea —según el Tratado de Lisboa—, el mandato de que la Unión Europea se adhiriese al Convenio Europeo de Derechos Humanos.

¿Y saben qué? Se cumplen también diez años desde que este Parlamento votó por primera vez su posición favorable a la iniciativa que adoptó la Comisión de una Directiva horizontal contra toda forma de discriminación, particularmente por razones especialmente odiosas que no están señaladas por su nombre en las constituciones, que son anteriores a la Carta de los Derechos Fundamentales de la Unión Europea, como, por ejemplo, la discriminación por razón de edad, por razón de discapacidad, por razón de orientación sexual o de creencias —más allá de la libertad religiosa—.

Esa Directiva horizontal es bloqueada sistemáticamente por el Consejo y este nuevo mandato de la Comisión Europea y del Parlamento Europeo puede ser un comienzo fresco con la energía y el compromiso para desbloquearla —como votó el Parlamento Europeo en 2010— en 2019 y como se ha comprometido la Presidencia finlandesa ante el comité consultivo del Consejo económico y social.

 
  
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  Karin Karlsbro (Renew). – Herr talman! Att inte diskrimineras handlar om frihet på riktigt. En självklarhet för de flesta, men långt ifrån alla. Faktum är att kön, sexuell läggning eller en funktionsnedsättning avgör dina möjligheter i livet. I samhället liksom på marknaden.

Det har nu gått mer än tio år sedan EU-kommissionen lade förslaget om att hindra diskriminering utanför arbetsmarknaden, men direktivet är fortfarande inte på plats. Det är oacceptabelt. Europaparlamentet väntar fortfarande på medlemsländerna. Vad väntar ni på? Det är dags att ta ansvar för medborgarna och få direktivet på plats. Att vi år 2019 inte garanterar skydd mot diskriminering på grund av ålder, funktionsnedsättning, sexuell läggning eller religion som sträcker sig utanför arbetsmarknaden är helt enkelt inte värdigt en union som ska värna om alla medborgares frihet och rättigheter.

 
  
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  Evelyn Regner (S&D). – Herr Präsident, sehr geehrte Frau Kommissarin, sehr geehrte Frau Ministerin! Niemand in Europa soll aufgrund von Alter, Beeinträchtigung, sexueller Orientierung, Religion oder Geschlecht diskriminiert werden, auch außerhalb des Arbeitsplatzes nicht. Diskriminierung nur deshalb zuzulassen, weil es so schwierig ist, sie zu bekämpfen, weil wir Einstimmigkeit brauchen, bedeutet nicht, dass wir aufgeben dürfen, das Richtige zu tun. Deshalb ausdrücklicher Dank an den finnischen Ratsvorsitz, das Thema nach elf Jahren wieder aus den Schubladen herausgeholt zu haben.

Die Welt hat sich nämlich weiterentwickelt. Wir haben all diese Diskriminierungsfälle, und wir wissen von der Grundrechteagentur, dass jede vierte Person schon diskriminiert wurde – in Österreich ist es jede zweite Person –, und wir wissen um neue Diskriminierungsfälle. Eigentlich sollte dieser Katalog erweitert werden um den sozialen Status. Wir wissen, dass Menschen diskriminiert werden, weil sie arm sind. Dann bekommen sie keinen Mietvertrag, vielleicht weil sie Frau sind, weil sie schwul sind, weil irgendwas sonst nicht passt, aber oft auch deshalb, weil sie arm sind, und deshalb sollte dieser Diskriminierungsgrund in der Zukunft ebenfalls behandelt werden.

 
  
  

VORSITZ: RAINER WIELAND
Vizepräsident

 
  
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  Agnes Jongerius (S&D). – Mr President, some people have to go over more hurdles in life than others do, and I think it’s shocking that one in five Europeans have been subject to discrimination in their lives. It’s our task to create equal opportunities for all, regardless of the colour of your skin, your age, your gender or whether or not you have a disability. I therefore think that it’s very good that we are working to deblock the Anti—Discrimination Directive – deblock it in the Council and deblock it with the Member States.

I think it’s also high time that, when we point our finger at someone else, we also look at ourselves. I’d like to know from the Commission how many people with a disability work in the European institutions, and how more job opportunities can be created for all of them, because I think it’s important that Europe works for all.

 
  
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  Sylwia Spurek (S&D). – Mr President, I come from Poland, from a Member State that has very low standards of protection against discrimination. Poland has some laws – only because of EU legislation. If the EU does not have a law in some regard, Poles in their own country are not protected against discrimination based on age, disability, gender identity or sexual orientation. The results are terrible. Just to recall the physical violence and assault during the last Pride in Poland.

The EU has to have comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation. Countries like Poland need such EU legislation. We need a horizontal anti-discrimination directive. We cannot be a little bit equal: either there is equality or there is not. As a former Deputy Ombudsperson of the Republic of Poland, I wish there were more MEPs in such an important debate that concerns human rights.

 
  
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  Miriam Dalli (S&D). – Sur President, mhux aċċettabbli li direttiva li kellha tintroduċi livell minimu ta’ protezzjoni kontra d-diskriminazzjoni baqgħet imblukkata għal għaxar snin sħaħ - u dan l-argument smajnieh - imma, għaliex huwa importanti li dan jiġi żblukkat?

Għaliex fl-Unjoni Ewropea, irridu jew ma rridux, għandna sitwazzjoni fejn għandek numru ta’ ċittadini fil-pajjiżi differenti li qed jitħallew ibatu diskriminazzjoni sfaċċata minħabba l-età, jew minħabba d-diżabilità, jew l-orjentazzjoni sesswali tagħhom, jew il-ġeneru tagħhom, jew minħabba r-reliġjon li jħaddnu.

Għandna persuni fl-Unjoni Ewropea li mhumiex qegħdin jitħallew jiftħu kont il-bank għaliex għandhom wisq età. Għalfejn koppja tal-istess sess ma titħalliex tikri appartament? Għalfejn persuna li trid li l-istat jirrikonixxi l-identità tal-ġeneru tagħha titqies minn ċerti pajjiżi bħala theddida? U għalfejn persuna b’diżabilità u tfal b’diżabilità m’għandhomx ikollhom l-istess opportunità bħal sħabhom biex imorru jitgħallmu fi skola jew imorru jaħdmu?

U filwaqt li hemm differenzi, jiena konvinta li jista’ jsir sforz biex naqblu fuq il-prinċipju li l-ugwaljanza tkun għal kulħadd.

 
  
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  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D). – Gerbiamas Pirmininke, taip, tikrai, diskriminacijai negali būti vietos Europos Sąjungoje. Bet kodėl vienuolika metų antidiskriminacinė direktyva nepajudėjo į priekį? Prisimenu, dar du tūkstančiai keturioliktais metais Komisijos pirmininkas J.-C. Junckeris nurodė, jog vienas iš Komisijos prioritetų bus įtikinti valstybes nares, susitarti dėl direktyvos, kuria įgyvendinamas vienodas požiūris į asmenis, nepaisant jų religijos, ar tikėjimo, negalios, amžiaus arba seksualinės orientacijos. Deja, bet kol kas direktyva nepajudėjo iš mirties taško. Tarybos įtikinti nepavyko. Taigi labai tikimės, ypač iš naujosios Komisijos, daug aktyvesnio bendradarbiavimo su valstybėmis narėmis, siekiant rasti kuo skubesnį susitarimą dėl šios direktyvos priėmimo. Ir tikrai nuoširdžiai dėkoju pirmininkaujančiai Suomijai, kuri ryžosi sėsti prie bendro stalo ir plačiau aptarti būtent šios direktyvos judėjimo į priekį galimybes.

 
  
 

Spontane Wortmeldungen

 
  
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  Sirpa Pietikäinen (PPE). – Mr President, human rights are universal and human rights are subjective. There’s no legal international interpretation that they should be under the subsidiarity principle. This is the interpretation that international lawyers have about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and that the Venice Commission and the European Council have. So, with due respect – or without that – I am just appalled, and it is a disgrace to the Council that it has been stuck for 11 years with this Anti—Discrimination Directive, hiding behind technicalities, subsidiarity and everybody else’s back. We have heard – and we can see every day – millions of testimonies about what the situation is. We owe this to European citizens. We owe them the right not to be discriminated against. I would like to thank the Presidency for taking the initiative.

 
  
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  Tudor Ciuhodaru (S&D). – Domnule președinte, e doar o întrebare retorică: 11 ani? Și marile piramide s-au făcut mai repede. Între timp, lumea s-a schimbat. Uitați-vă și dumneavoastră, că, pe lângă acele bariere care dau discriminare, precum vârsta, orientarea sexuală, credințele religioase, dizabilitățile, au apărut și lucruri noi. Din punctul meu de vedere este îngrozitor că au apărut două bariere crâncene: cea educațională și cea economică. Aici ar trebui să fim foarte atenți și să asigurăm măsurile necesare, căci accesul la sănătate, accesul la educație fac Europa diferită de azi pe mâine.

Într-adevăr drepturile omului, problema drepturilor omului rămâne problema secolului XXI. Îi cer doamnei comisar, și sper că Președinția finlandeză va colabora cu noi toți, cu Parlamentul European, cu sugestii venite din țările noastre, pentru că vă reamintesc faptul că, în România, problema minorităților a fost în mare parte rezolvată și că avem un ghid de bune practici, ele având loc în școli, în universități, în Parlamentul național, nu doar pentru că acest drept este precizat în legislație. Trebuie să venim cu soluții legislative clare, să fie universale, să fie aplicabile tuturor țărilor europene și, evident, să existe și sancțiuni pentru cei care nu respectă aceste drepturi.

 
  
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  Matthew Patten (NI). – Mr President, this debate may be about discrimination outside the workplace, but nothing will change until discrimination is ended at work. Money, respect, social mobility start there and nothing will change until the EU recognises and addresses the fact that this entity is institutionally racist. Ten percent of Europeans come from racial and ethnic communities, yet the European Union directly employs less than one percent from a minority background. There has never been a black Commissioner, Afro—Belgians living in the home of the EU are twice as likely to have a degree than the average population but four times more likely to be unemployed.

The EU’s motto is ‘united in diversity’. It should be ‘united in diversity, as long as you are white’. If, after eleven years, the EU wants to end discrimination, it must start with itself. Will the Commissioner commit tonight to making the next hire a person of colour.

 
  
 

(Ende der spontanen Wortmeldungen)

 
  
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  Věra Jourová, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, honourable Members, you have all seen that the next Commission will have the ambition to strongly combat discrimination.

In her political guidelines, the President—elect, Ms Ursula von der Leyen, put unprecedented emphasis on promoting equality and assigned this new created portfolio to Ms Dalli, who was mentioned here several times.

You heard in her recent hearing Ms Dalli making a strong personal commitment, in front of your institution, to do everything to advance key legislation in the equality area.

Maybe you remember I also made a strong commitment and promise in 2014, when I started my mandate in this area. I didn’t expect that the legislation which was already proposed in 2008 would not be adopted over the whole time of my mandate. I regret that, and I find this a failure which is still to be solved. I only want to tell you that we did from the side of the Commission everything possible to unblock it, but with all that effort of course we could not guarantee adoption in the Council.

I heard from Member States over the Council meetings – of course it was in 2014 back then when we were discussing the progress, rather non-progress, reports in the next years – a lot of different arguments. It was the money, competences, subsidiarity – you mentioned some of them.

I remember in 2014 when we started to speak about the possibility to go through enhanced cooperation, which might be the solution, because this requires unanimity so this is an option. This is an option which is procedurally okay but this is an option which is morally absolutely wrong. I was happy that I heard this, also from the Member States who did not want to adopt the legislation, that this would be a wrong signal – that some of the Member States would be out of such a principle thing.

I had maybe hundreds of individual talks with the relevant ministers in the Member States. But the relevant minister is another issue, because not in all the Member States is there one minister who works for it, who works full—time against discrimination, because the competences are shared and the picture of who is responsible for what is rather blurred also at the Member States level.

Let’s be honest, it requires courage these days in many Member States to fight against discrimination and not all politicians are willing to undertake such a risk, because we live in an era of hate—speech online which is turning not only against discriminated people – and this is another fight we are running and we do a lot against hate—speech online – but this is also turning against politicians and journalists who have the courage to write about discrimination. So this is the Europe where we live now and we have to work on all these fronts.

You also mentioned the difficulty with the implementation of the anti—discrimination legislation because we have legislation in place already. I can give you the example of the gender pay gap. A big portion of the gender pay gap – meaning differences in salaries between men and women – is caused by direct discrimination. A man and a woman, same job, different money. It’s prohibited by the law. Where is the enforcement?

In many cases, the women are not aware of the gap. So that’s why we wanted to strengthen the ability of the equality bodies in all the Member States to act, and to be the helping hand in the Member States for these kind of cases so that the victims of such discrimination can go and ask for support and use access to justice, because it’s not a privilege, it’s another guaranteed right which should be used here.

The pension gap: we speak here about 40% of the difference, so it’s another shameful story and we have the legislation in place, so we have a gap in the implementation.

On discrimination and what to do, I spoke about our efforts to decrease or eliminate hate—speech online, which is fuelling discrimination and vice—versa as these two phenomena are fertilising each other. We already started to work on artificial intelligence and there are still ethical rather than legislative, but still ethical rules, so that not to copy paste the discriminatory behaviour and attitudes to the artificial intelligence sphere.

So we are working on many different things, but the thing we speak about here today is a core one. Without the legislation we will always be weakened and we will have to find different ways how to achieve the possible and feasible results.

So in this context I have big expectations that on Thursday I will hear from the relevant ministers from the Member States whether the 11—year—old directive is still fit for purpose or whether they see some room for improvements. Let’s look at it freshly and newly, without damaging the main purpose.

Maybe I will hear again the same arguments which I was listening to over the five years, but I am sure that this debate will be very useful and it will give fresh impulse for the new Commission and for the Council to continue working on it. I want to thank finally again the Finnish Presidency for bringing this back on the table of the EPSCO Council.

Let me finish by thanking the Parliament for the sustained determination and for the continuous support, because it is absolutely crucial that we remain strong on this together.

 
  
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  Tytti Tuppurainen, President-in-Office of the Council. – Mr President, honourable Members of Parliament, thank you once again for this opportunity to discuss this very important dossier with you. I have listened with great interest to your ideas, including Ms Jourová. Thank you very much, Madam Commissioner.

I couldn’t agree with you more that equality and non-discrimination are at the heart of our common European values. We must enhance it. We must work together on this. I would also like to thank you for your efforts to keep this important topic high on the political agenda. Allow me to say that the Council has repeatedly and continuously recognised the importance of this file. However, you know that reaching the required unanimity has proven to be difficult despite the efforts and different attempts of each and every Presidency since the proposal was tabled more than 10 years ago.

The Finnish Presidency is launching a high-level discussion on the overarching topic of anti-discrimination, hoping to gain insight into the current situation and achieve much—needed new momentum for progress. As I said earlier, as the Commissioner also said, and many of you referred to, on Thursday, the Ministers in the EPSCO Council will discuss how to enhance anti—discrimination in the European Union. I personally remain available to exchange with you on any outcomes and next steps. So let’s work together for a sustainable Europe and a sustainable future.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Die Aussprache ist geschlossen.

Schriftliche Erklärungen (Artikel 171 GO)

 
  
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  Ádám Kósa (PPE), írásban. – A vallásra vagy meggyőződésre, fogyatékosságra, életkorra vagy szexuális irányultságra való tekintet nélküli egyenlő bánásmód elvének alkalmazásáról szóló tanácsi irányelvre vonatkozó jogalkotási állásfoglalást az Európai Parlament 2009. április 2-án fogadta el. Ennek több mint 10 éve. A Lisszaboni Szerződés alapján az Európai Tanácsban egyhangú döntésre van szükség, a tagállamok azonban számos okból nem tudnak megállapodásra jutni.

A fogyatékossággal élők esetében az ENSZ CRPD egyezményét az EU 2010-ben ratifikálta, innentől új időszámítás kezdődött: az egyezmény 5. cikkében foglalt kötelezettséget az EU-nak mielőbb teljesítenie kell. Ideje tehát belátni, hogy a horizontális irányelv ügyében új megközelítéseket kell alkalmazni. Megengedhetetlen, hogy egyes csoportokkal szembeni diszkriminációk tilalmát - amelyben a tagállamok között közmegegyezés van, sőt mi több, amelyben jogszabályi kötelezettség terheli az EU-t - nem lehet jogszabályba ültetni más csoportokkal kapcsolatos dilemmák miatt. Haladást csak akkor fogunk elérni, ha tanulunk a hibákból, és nem akarunk mindent egy irányelvbe erőltetni. Így arra szólítom fel az Európai Bizottságot, hogy kezelje külön a fogyatékossággal élők csoportját, hogy ne szenvedjenek további hátrányt.

 
  
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  Leszek Miller (S&D), na piśmie. – Dokończenie prac legislacyjnych nad dyrektywą antydyskryminacyjną uważam za priorytet. Tym bardziej, że dyskusja nad nią w Radzie trwa od dekady. W Unii nadal obserwujemy liczne przypadki dyskryminacji jednostek i określonych grup społecznych – tak ze względu na wiek, jak i inne przesłanki niedopuszczalnego wykluczenia. Niestety prawo krajowe radzi sobie z tym problemem w różnoraki sposób. Dlatego dyrektywa pozwoliłaby dokonać harmonizacji przepisów antydyskryminacyjnych na właściwym poziomie ochrony.

Brak jednomyślności państw członkowskich niejako rekompensuje obywatelom UE Trybunał Sprawiedliwości, który nadał zasadzie niedyskryminacji ze względu na wiek walor zasady ogólnej prawa UE (Mangold) i potwierdził jej bezpośredni skutek (Kücükdeveci). Wejście w życie dyrektywy antydyskryminacyjnej pozwoliłoby uniknąć wielu ludzkich dramatów wynikających np. z arbitralnego i zbiorowego pozbawienia tysięcy funkcjonariuszy i żołnierzy służących Polsce choćby jeden dzień przed 31 lipca 1990 r. uprawnień emerytalnych wynikających ze stażu pracy, jak również świadczeń związanych z podjęciem każdej innej pracy po zakończeniu służby. Absurdalność i represyjny charakter takiej praktyki dostrzegły sądy krajowe, kierując w tej sprawie pytania prejudycjalne do TSUE czy orzekając na korzyść pokrzywdzonych z pominięciem normy krajowej. Wydaje się jednak, że do czasu uchwalenia dyrektywy zakazującej jakiejkolwiek dyskryminacji z któregokolwiek względu krajowa praktyka stosowania ślepej odpowiedzialności zbiorowej, bez udowodnienia winy, będzie pozostawała poza zakresem prawa unijnego.

 
  
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  Rovana Plumb (S&D), in writing. – The EC proposed in 2008 an important new anti-discrimination law, which could ban discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief, disability, age in all areas of social life, including education, housing, and access to goods and services. Nevertheless, 11 years on, the draft directive remains stuck at the EU Council. This means that in 2019, in many Member States, people can still be refused when they ask to open bank accounts because they are considered ‘too old’. We know children that are kept apart from their friends and sent to ‘special schools’ because they have a disability. Discrimination must have no place in our Union. However, several EU countries have adopted more progressive equality laws and stepped up non-discrimination protection for their citizens on a country-by-country basis. I strongly support both the EC and the Member States to come up with a roadmap on how to close the legislative gaps against discrimination on all grounds. We must turn the legislative silence into a clear affirmation of the fact that the provision of these rights must not be politicised and earn the trust of our citizens that the EU can live up to its key values of equality and non-discrimination.

 
  
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  Loránt Vincze (PPE), írásban. – Üdvözlöm a megkülönböztetés tilalmáról szóló horizontális irányelv előmozdítása érdekében kezdeményezett vitát. Az említett uniós szabályozás javaslata több mint 10 éves, még a Lisszaboni Szerződés hatályba lépése előtt került az intézmények tárgyalóasztalára. Ideje lenne az előrelépésnek. Pontosan ezért is indokolt, hogy ismét beszéljünk róla, illetve ezzel egyidőben olyan uniós polgárok további csoportjairól is, akik máig nem érezhetik magukat az EU egyenrangú polgárainak például azért, mert az anyanyelvüket nem használhatják korlátok nélkül, vagy rejtett, közvetett módon éri őket diszkrimináció azért, mert egy őshonos nemzeti kisebbséghez tartoznak.

Ezeknek az uniós polgároknak az egyenlőség megéléséhez más-más feltételekre van szükségük, és a diszkrimináció puszta tiltása, ma már jól tudjuk, nem elegendő. Azt a munkát, amit az uniós jogalkotók 2000-ben elkezdtek a megkülönböztetés-mentesség garantálása területén, azt ma továbbfejlesztve, kiegészítve kell nekünk folytatnunk, ügyelve arra, hogy meghalljuk az eddig háttérbe szorult, de Európában évszázadok óta jelen lévő csoportokat is. Szükség van arra, hogy az unió jobban odafigyeljen kisebbségeire, tartozzanak azok a horizontális irányelv hatálya vagy teljességében a Szerződésekben megfogalmazott uniós értékek védelme alá.

 
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