Today the European Parliament adopted the report by Dutch Green MEP Kathalijne Buitenweg, which extends discrimination protection beyond the labour market to goods and services for the discrimination grounds of sexual orientation, disability, age and religion/belief.
The proposal now appears likely to be adopted during the Swedish Presidency of the EU, following last week’s commitment by the Swedish government to do so.
Jean Lambert, London’s Green MEP, Co-President of the cross-party Intergroup on Ageing and Member of the Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights, commented:
“I am very proud that we succeeded in getting a Parliament majority to support this extension of legal protection against discrimination beyond the labour market.
“This is a long overdue victory for the millions of people across Europe at risk of discrimination on grounds of their age, disability, sexual orientation or faith or belief.
“Despite the obvious benefits of greater equality in all areas of society, it has taken months of hard work to win support for the new legislation in the European Parliament. In the face of external pressure, I am delighted that a clear majority voted for these new rules.
“However, I regret that many in the PPE/ED Group felt unable to vote for the proposals. I believe this shows we still have some way to go in developing a Europe of real equality.”
Notes to Editors
(1) Votes: For 363/Against 226/Abstentions 64
(2) EPP/ED Group is the centre-right group in the European Parliament, representing the Christian Democrats and, currently, the British Conservatives.