LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

European Parliament: “All international couples should enjoy the same property rights”

Today, ILGA-Europe applauds the European Parliament for adopting two amended resolutions with the aim of simplifying the legal procedures regarding property regimes for bi-national married couples and registered partners. The resolutions ensure that all bi-national couples are treated equally irrespective of their sexual orientation.

In 2011, the European Commission proposed two distinct regulations dealing with property rights for bi-national married and registered couples. ILGA-Europe was concerned with the fact that the proposal came in the form of two separate regulations, containing differences in treatment for married couples, and registered partners. At the time, ILGA-Europe had raised questions around whether such differences in treatment were compatible with the European Union Charter on Fundamental Rights, provided that they were likely to have a negative affect same-sex partners on the basis of their sexual orientation. The identified discrepancies were subsequently confirmed by the Fundamental Rights Agency in its Opinion on the two resolutions.

Following the work of the European Parliament, the two resolutions were amended to equate the rights to all couples without distinction. If the Parliament’s amendments will be accepted by the Council, the same choices in terms of applicable law would be available for both married and registered couples. These resolutions send a clear signal from the European Parliament, that married and registered couples regardless of gender should enjoy the same rights.

Evelyne Paradis, Executive Director of ILGA-Europe, said:

“We applaud the European Parliament for its work to remove discriminatory provisions that were likely to have a negative effect on same-sex couples. We now call on the Member States in Council of the European Union, to formally adopt the two resolutions as proposed by the European Parliament, in order to uphold the principle of equal treatment for all without distinction.”