European Parliament wants guaranteed free movement for LGBT people

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

The European Parliament this week adopted a resolution promising the free movement of all families in Europe.

In a report on the mid-term review of the Stockholm Programme, the Parliament criticised the European Commission for failing to fulfil a previous pledge to facilitate such free movement.

The Commission has pledged to propose law within the EU to facilitate the recognition of the effects of civil status documents, such as birth, death, marriage or civil partnership certificates.

Such documents currently aren’t automatically recognised between member states, thus making it potentially difficult for citizens to show their civil status.

This could have difficult repercussions for LGBT people whose documents aren’t necessarily recognised in other EU states, despite being legal and valid in their own.

For example, a French same-sex couple with a child travelling through Italy could legally be considered two single people and an orphan. At the least this could cause issues with hospital treatment, or school admissions.

The Parliament has asked the Commission “to pursue existing plans to issue a proposal […] for a regulation on the mutual recognition of the effects of all civil status documents in the EU”.

In the eyes of the Parliament, this will “eliminate discriminatory legal and administrative barriers for both male and female citizens and their families who wish to exercise their right to free movement”, and “allow EU citizens and residents and their families to retain throughout the Union existing rights attached to civil statuses already legally recognised in several European jurisdictions”.

Raül Romeva i Rueda MEP, Vice-President of the LGBT Intergroup, commented: “The Parliament has now voted, at least a dozen times in the last five years, to say it wants true equality in freedom of movement for citizens, and all their families. This is fully respecting the treaties and Member States’ sovereignty, and will add to the EU area of freedom, security and justice.”

“I can promise you we’ll keep demanding this during our next mandate.”

Monika Flašíková-Beňová MEP, Member of the LGBT Intergroup and previously Rapporteur on Fundamental Rights in the EU, added: “It isn’t freedom of movement if your civil status literally evaporates at the border of one Member State. Whenever a civil status is already legal in one Member States, others must recognise individual this for individual situations.”

“This won’t introduce same-sex unions into countries that don’t want it at the moment—the EU cannot do this. This is respecting the sovereignty of Member States where these unions exist.”