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Parliamentary questions
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2 July 2010
E-4992/2010
Question for written answer E-4992/2010
to the Commission
Rule 117
Konrad Szymański (ECR)

 Subject: Application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Protocol 30
 Answer in writing 

In answer to my question of 6 January 2010 on ‘Religious freedom and new anti-discrimination law in the United Kingdom’, in which I asked whether EC law required the United Kingdom to change its anti-discrimination legislation to bring it into line with EC law, the Commission response on 3 March 2010 included the following:

‘Article 10 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union which foresees the freedom of thought, conscience and religion, has to be read in combination with Article 21 of the same Charter which forbids, among other grounds, the discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, it is a question of balance between two rights’, and ‘any exception from non-discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation should be based on a “genuine and determining occupational requirement” (in accordance with Article 4(1) of the directive), while taking full account of Article 10 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights’.

Judging from its answer, it is clear that the Commission recognises that the Charter applies to the United Kingdom in this field. At the same time, Protocol 30 to the Treaty stipulates: ‘To the extent that a provision of the Charter refers to national laws and practices, it shall only apply to Poland or the United Kingdom to the extent that the rights or principles that it contains are recognised in the law or practices of Poland or of the United Kingdom.’

In light of the above:

1. In formulating its response to my earlier question, did the Commission take into account the content of Protocol 30?
2. Does the Commission take into account the existence of Protocol 30 when it assesses the conformity of Polish, British or Czech law with the fundamental rights enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights?

Original language of question: PLOJ C 191 E, 01/07/2011
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