Minister Flanagan supports the work of the EU Commission in advancing LGBTI Equality
6 December 2018
Today, Minister Flanagan joins European colleagues in signing a proposal brought forward by Malta to support the work of the EU Commission in the List of Actions to Advance LGBTI Equality.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Minister Flanagan commented: “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex (LGBTI) people continue to suffer from widespread discrimination, hate speech and hate crimes in the European Union. As Member States we must work together to ensure a co-ordinated response to these most serious issues at European levels and aspire to best practice in the National context.”
The European Commission published the List of Actions to Advance LGBTI Equality to move LGBTI equality forward in December 2015. The Council adopted the first ever conclusions on LGBTI equality in June 2016 requiring the Commission to annually report on the implementation of the list of actions.
Minister Flanagan commended the work of the EU Commission on the list of Actions: “I commend the leadership of the Commission in supporting LGBTI equality measures and challenging discriminatory practices via the List of Actions to Advance LGBTI Equality. As our Maltese colleagues have noted, the current List of Actions could avail of a greater degree of visibility on different levels and across society in a wider sense. More prominence on a national and EU level, could potentially lead to a greater impact.”
There are numerous examples of good practice at National and European level, with many Member States publishing National Action Plans for LGBTI Equality and reviewing Gender Identity Recognition Procedures.
Ireland published a National Youth LGBTI Strategy in June 2018, and is currently working on the development of a parallel strategy to cover broader population issues for publication early next year. To date there have been a number of facilitated workshops as part of the public consultation on this Strategy. Furthermore, Ireland recently reviewed its Gender Recognition legislation which provides a legal self-declaration model with ensuing recommendations to provide broader and improved access to more streamlined procedures.
While Ireland has made substantial advances with the advent of Marriage Equality and Gender Recognition legislation in 2015, it is recognised that more remains to be done at the level of society.
In concluding the Minister talked about future plans for the promotion of LGBTI Equality in Ireland: “I look forward to the launch of the National LGBTI Inclusion Strategy in 2019, which is to be brought forward by my colleague David Stanton, T.D., Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration. This presents an opportunity to make real progress in advancing equality for our LGBTI citizens and would not be possible without the support of the European Union in serving as a platform for the exchange of best practices amongst Member States.”