Presidency conclusions on human rights in the EU – MEPs write to Austrian Presidency

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

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In October 2018, a disagreement among the Council on a wording on LGBTI rights led the Austrian Presidency to publish “Presidency conclusions” instead of the customary “Council conclusions” on the state of human rights in the EU.

Members of the Intergroup write to the Austrian Presidency to express their concern about this.


To: Sebastian Kurz, Federal Chancellor; Gernot Blümel, Federal Minister for the EU, Arts, Culture and Media; Karin Kneissl, Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs


Concerns: Presidency conclusions on the state of human rights in the EU


Brussels, 5 November 2018


Honourable Members of the Austrian Government,

We are writing to you to express our concern on the recent decision of the Council to publish presidency conclusions on the state of human rights in the EU.

The Council has a tradition of publishing Council conclusions on the Commission’s report on the application of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights. This report is key in monitoring progress in the areas where the EU can act.

As we understand, this year the Council could not publish Council conclusions because of an opposition to some of its provisions on LGBTI rights.

The discrimination, violence and hatred to which LGBTI people are exposed in the EU should not even be up for discussion. The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, on which the presidency conclusions are based every year, explicitly prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation (article 21). The European Commission, with their List of Actions, have significantly contributed to raising awareness about LGBTI rights in the EU. The Council has also always been a key actor in safeguarding universal human rights.

In that view, we would like to ask what your Presidency intends to do in the future, in order to maintain its role of protecting the human rights of all EU citizens, including LGBTI people, and to counter attempts to deny the stark human rights violations they face in the EU.


Yours sincerely,


Terry Reintke MEP

Sophie in’t Veld MEP

Malin Bjork MEP

Fabio Massimo Castaldo MEP

Miriam Dalli MEP

Christine Revault d’Allonnes Bonnefoy MEP

Bart Staes MEP

Monika Vana MEP

Michel Reimon MEP

Nessa Childers MEP

Judith Sargentini MEP

Alessia Maria Mosca MEP

Brando Benifei MEP

Edouard Martin MEP

Julie Ward MEP

Jean Lambert MEP

Péter Niedermüller MEP

Birgit Sippel MEP

Beatriz Becerra MEP

Maria Noichl MEP

Sirpa Pietikäinen MEP

Benedek Jávor MEP

Taylor Keith MEP

Barbara Lochbihler MEP

Molly Scott Cato MEP

Maria Heubuch MEP

Jakop Dalunde MEP

Isabella Adinolfi MEP

José Inácio Faria MEP

Dimitrios Papadimoulis MEP

Seb Dance MEP

Theresa Griffin MEP

Ernest Urtasun MEP

Merja Kyllönen MEP

Heidi Hautala MEP

Hilde Vautmans MEP

Martina Anderson MEP

Lynn Boylan MEP

Matt Carthy MEP

Liadh Ni Riada MEP

Bas Eickhout MEP


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