COC Netherlands wants Europe to come with a European emancipation policy for LGBTs and people with an intersex condition. COC Netherlands has made this appeal in a letter to Commissioner Frans Timmermans, the former Dutch Foreign Minister, who is now responsible for human rights.
The COC is of the opinion that one year after the European elections, it is time for the European Committee takes action on the long drawn-out discussion on a European gay emancipation policy and come with a proposal.
The COC argues in its letter that LGBTs throughout the European Union have to deal with discrimination and violence because of who they are. The interest group refers to a survey by the European Union Agency for Human Rights, which shows that this discrimination takes place in all areas of social and economic life. Homosexuals are vulnerable to verbal and physical violence, and are often invisible for fear of coming out of the closet.
Commissioner Timmermans could tackle these problems with a European gay emancipation policy. This policy could make countries that have taken insufficient responsibility for gay emancipation to spring into action. Also, successful methods in fighting gay discrimination could be exchanged throughout Europe. There already is a European emancipation policy on the basis of gender, handicap, race and ethical background in place.
In the letter, the COC commends Commissioner Timmermans for having made gay human rights a policy priority as Dutch Foreign Minister, and for his recent appeal as Commissioner to open up same-sex marriage in all EU member states. The interest group is now inviting the Commissioner to take the lead in the creation of a European gay policy.
In May, Timmermans’ colleague Commissioner Vera Jourová of Justice noted that she did not see any obstacles in creating a European gay policy, but this did not bring about an actual proposal.
In Brussels, officials have been speaking for years about drafting a European gay emancipation policy, but without results. Eight Dutch parties in the European Parliament, including Timmermans' PvdA, singed the European Ballot Agreement in April in which the parties promised to labour for a European gay policy.