Sophie in `t Veld MEP: “Polish people care deeply
about fundamental rights, as they have shown by handing a resounding
defeat to the homophobic Kaczynski government”.
BRUSSELS, November 28, 2007 – The
new Polish Government should maintain it’s post-campaign promise to have
Poland become a full party to the Charter of Fundamental Rights alongside
other EU Member States, the all-party Intergroup on gay and lesbian rights
said this afternoon.
“I hope the new government will do
everything in its power to convince the Polish parliament to reverse the
opt-out of the Charter,” said Sophie in `t Veld (the Netherlands), a vice
president of the Intergroup.
“Polish people care deeply about
fundamental rights, as they have shown by handing a resounding defeat to the
homophobic Kaczynski government.
“Now they should claim their rights
as a binding legal instrument,” she said.
The Intergroup is worried by
reports that the Polish Government of Donald Tusk may be having second
thoughts on the matter of the Charter.
“I encourage the Government to keep
on repairing the damage at the European level made by extremist political
forces,” said Michael Cashman (UK), the Intergroup’s president.
“A commitment to fundamental rights
is not one that should be taken lightly – I hope that the Government will
give every impulse to create both the right political and legal environment
to tackle discrimination not just in Poland but also throughout Europe.”
Raul Romeva (Spain), another vice
president, pointed out that membership of the European Union was not just a
question of money.
“It’s also about rights – of rights
for all Europeans, and that includes Poles.
“It would be extremely dangerous if
the Government excludes its population of having their rights fully
respected,” he said.
“I hope that the new Polish
Government will give us further reason to cheer their arrival as the new
political leadership of Europe,” he continued.
“Ratifying the Charter would signal
Poland’s readiness to take its place as one of the leaders of Europe. It is
only right that Central and Eastern European States become shining beacons
of hope and democracy to the rest of the world.
“Adopting the Charter would send
all the right signals, not adopting it would be a disappointing reversal of
fortune for the citizens of Poland,” he concluded.
Speaking earlier this week, Tomasz
Szypula, secretary general of Campaign Against Homophobia in Warsaw
expressed bitter disappointment that the coalition of the Civic Platform
(PO) and Polish Peasants Party (PSL) was intending to formally reject the
Charter next month.
“Our new government has shown its
conservative face,” he said.
“In Poland there’s no anti-hate
speech, anti-hate crime or anti-discriminatory laws which mention sexual
orientation,” he pointed out.
And now, it seems, Poland will not
be signing The Charter of Fundamental Rights which will give gay men and
women throughout the European Union a greater degree of equality.
The Charter will also give
transgender people rights – though, in European jurisprudence they are
covered under “gender” rather than sexuality.
Member states of the European Union
are scheduled to sign the Charter on December 13 in Lisbon.
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Posted: 28 November 2007 at
16:30 (UK time)