European Parliament in favour of a report calling for mutual recognition of civil status documents

23/11/2010

The European Parliament reaffirms its position about civil documents (e.g. birth and death certificates, marriage certificates) to have the same status in all European Union countries.

Read about the adopted report and what ILGA-Europe recommends should be done on a national level.

Today the European Parliament voted in favour of a report calling for mutual recognition of civil status documents. This means that the current discrimination against same-sex couples in the form of non-recognition of their marriages/partnerships should be removed when a same-sex couple is exercising their freedom of movement within the European Union:

From the report:

N. whereas Union law must be at the service of citizens, notably in the areas of family law and civil status,

and further:

40. Stresses the need to ensure mutual recognition of official documents issued by national administrations; welcomes the Commission’s efforts to empower citizens to exercise their free movement rights and strongly supports plans to enable the mutual recognition of the effects of civil status documents; calls for further efforts to reduce barriers for citizens who exercise their rights of free movement, particularly with regard to access to the social benefits to which they are entitled and their right to vote in municipal elections;

Find the full report here

The report can be useful for lobbying at national level in 3 ways:

  1. In countries that allow same-sex partners to marry (Belgium, Spain, The Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden) you can use the above to exert pressure on your governments to demand that domestic marriages are recognised all across the EU.
  2. In those countries that allow same-sex partners to enter into registered partnerships (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Slovenia and The United Kingdom) you can use the above to exert pressure on your governments to both:
    (i) recognise partnerships that are registered in other EU counties,
    (ii) as well as for them to demand other countries to recognise you domestic partnerships
  3. In those countries where same-sex partners’ marriages that are celebrated in other European countries are not recognised (Bulgaria, Estonia, Greece, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithunia, Malta, Poland, Romania and Slovakia) organisations may exert pressure on their governments to take the European Parliament’s report into account and remove any discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation with regard to the rights of freedom of movement and residence as well as other all other benefits and rights that are associated with marriage in your country.

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Read also the press release from the European Parliament's Intergroup on LGBT Rights here.

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