Rainbow Rose discusses in Malta list of actions to advance LGBTI equality

23/02/2017

Malta ministerial on mainstreaming of LGBTI equality

A delegation of Rainbow Rose – the associate LGBTI network of the PES – discussed ways to push forward advances on LGBTI rights in Europe, under the leadership of Malta, currently holding the presidency of the EU. Under Malta’s Labour government, the country has experienced an impressive progression on LGBTI rights. Delegation members discussed how Malta’s Presidency can help spread these advances to other European Union member countries, as well as within the PES family.

Rainbow Rose representatives met with Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and Minister for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties Helena Dalli, for a High Level Ministerial Conference on LGBTIQ Equality Mainstreaming, hosted by Malta.

Mr Muscat said:

"How it happened here in Malta can be seen as a model. When I was an activist in the Labour Party 10 years ago, the general line of thought was we should not go there because people don't want to go there. It took some courage from our side to say we want to go there, we want to advocate on this issue, and everyone followed — not immediately but they followed. I think or hope that for some of our friends in our political family that haven't been progressing on these issues, it's not a matter of conviction, but it's a matter of fear. Fear can be overcome."

After the meeting with Rainbow Rose, minister Dalli stated:

“I think it is of the essence that as a family, we support each other and we continue striving for the ideals which we believe in, in order to materialize them and bring real changes in the lives of people. That is what we are here for.”

Rainbow Rose President Aurélien Mazuy expressed his gratitude to the Maltese government for making LGBTI issues a visible issue of their Presidency. Mazuy said:

“It has been a great honor to meet both Maltese Prime Minister Muscat and Minister Dalli. We are so proud of the great work achieved by the Maltese Labour Government on LGBTI rights. Implementation of so much progressive policy is an example of what is possible when there is clear political will. We are glad that the Maltese Presidency of the Council also chose to shed a light on how Europe can deliver on equal opportunities for all. It is another example on how our political family keeps leading work on LGBTI issues.” 

The delegation also met with Catarina Marcelino, Portuguese State Secretary for Citizenship and Equality, who spoke about mainstreaming LGBTIQ equality in healthcare. Marcelino said:

“At this particular time in the world, affirming the rights of LGBTI people in the laws of the EU Member States is fundamental to guarantee equality for all. The Portuguese Government is firmly committed to achieving this.”

The delegation was comprised of representatives from more than 10 countries, stretching from Turkey to Ireland and was the largest at the conference. Among the Rainbow Rose members were a Member of the European Parliament, a member of the Committee of the Regions, a Swedish MP, and local councillors from France and Turkey.

Daniele Viotti, Italian MEP from the S&D Group in the European Parliament and Co-President of the LGBTI Intergroup, declared:

“We should work to see full implementation of civil rights for everyone. It would be senseless to have equal marriage or civil partnerships recognised everywhere in the EU while we see things such as the violation of fundamental rights, such as those of migrants, women, and transgender persons.”

List of PES delegation:

Daniele Viotti  - MEP, Co-President of the LGBTI Intergroup, S&D
Kevin Peel - Manchester City Councillor, PES Group CoR
Borje Vestlund - Swedish MP, SSU
Sedef Cakmak - Besiktas Municipality Councillor, CHP
Myriam Elyassa - Besancon Municipality Councillor, PS
Jure Tanko - Office of MEP Tanja Fajon S&D
Aurélien Mazuy - President of Rainbow Rose
Fionnagh Nally - Labour LGBT
Michele Albiani - PD
Vilma Vaitiekunaite - LSDP
Giannis Viakis - PASOK
Madelaine Vilgren - HBTS
Sander Meinema - PvDA RozeNetwerk
Desiree Chacon - LGBT PSOE
Jose Santoro - PES

Photos of the Rainbow Rose PES delegation are available for download here.