European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association

Berlin Declaration needs to reaffirm European values of equality and human rights

On 25 March 2007 the European Union’s leaders will mark the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome by signing the Berlin Declaration. Prior to the celebration, a disagreement and controversy emerged on various issues including what values should be reflected in the Berlin Declaration. While some were suggesting inclusion of a reference to god and Christianity, the others, including ILGA-Europe, were calling for stressing the principles of equality, democracy and secularism.

ILGA-Europe firmly believes that such an important statement marking half a century of the European project should reflect such paramount principles as equality, anti-discrimination and respect of human rights for each and every person in Europe.

Patricia Prendiville, Executive Director of ILGA-Europe, said:

“For years, the European Union championed these values across the European Union and across the world. At the same time Europe is currently witnessing an increase in hatred targeted at various groups and violations of their basic human rights.

Europe therefore must protect and reaffirm its democratic values and its secular status. We believe that only such a European model ensures that all individuals in Europe can lead and enjoy life free from discrimination and realise all their potential.

We call on the European leaders to use this opportunity to reaffirm the core European values as expressed in the Brussels Declaration. This Declaration reinforces equality and human rights for all as core values of the EU. We also call on the EU institutions and member states to go beyond declarations and take practical steps towards implementation of these principles within the Union and beyond.”

Ends

For more information please contact
Juris Lavrikovs at + 32 2 609 54 16 / + 32 496 708 375

Notes for editors:

(1) ILGA-Europe is the European Region of the International Lesbian and Gay Association and works for equality and human rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Europe.

(2) More information on the 50 anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome is available at the website of the EU German Presidency: www.eu2007.de/en/The_Council_Presidency/treaties_of_rome/index.html

(3) The Brussels Declaration is available at: www.iheu.org/v4e/index.html