European Parliament tells Commission to step up work on transgender issues

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Today the European Parliament asked the European Commission to step up its work against the discrimination faced by transgender people when purchasing or accessing goods and services. This is the latest in a series of Parliament request in favour of transgender rights since 2010.

Zita Gurmai MEP

Zita Gurmai MEP, Rapporteur

The plenary chamber adopted its report on the transposition and application of Directive 2004/113/EC, the EU law guaranteeing equal treatment between women and men when accessing goods and services.

Drafted by Socialist MEP Zita Gurmai (pictured), the report recalls that the Court of Justice of the European Union has repeatedly held that discrimination of transgender people may amount to discrimination on grounds of sex.

In an amendment just adopted by the plenary, the European Parliament also “calls on the Commission, in line with Court of Justice jurisprudence, to fully include discrimination on grounds of gender identity in future policy and legislation in the field of equality between women and men”.

The author of the amendment, Marije Cornelissen MEP, commented after the vote: “EU policies includes gender identity since 2010 and the EU gender equality strategy, and so does EU law since the Asylum qualification Directive enacted in 2011. The European Commission has started tremendous work in this field, including a wide-ranging study and work on the international scene. The Parliament now hopes the Commission will include gender identity in their future proposals for EU laws and policies.”

Michael Cashman MEP, Co-President of the LGBT Intergroup, further added: “Transgender people face some of the harshest conditions in the European Union. In an EU study to be released next month, we learn that over a third of transgender people were physically attacked in the last five years. This shows all the violence and discrimination trans people face, and the EU must now take this as seriously as possible.”

Next month, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights will publish data from the largest-ever European LGBT survey, including on discrimination faced by transgender people in the EU and Croatia.

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