Obstacles to the free movement of rainbow families

A new study which was commissioned by the European Parliament examines the obstacles to the free movement of rainbow families in the EU. During a workshop in the EP’s PETI Committee on LGBTI+ rights in the EU, the study alongside the new Strategy on LGBTIQ rights recently presented by the Commission was presented and COFACE member NELFA reacted to it.

LGBTI+ persons still experience discrimination, persecution, violence in the European Union of 2021. The European Parliament has been at the forefront in calling for the protection of the fundamental rights of LGBTI+ persons and for equality regardless of sexual orientation, through a fully-fledged LGBTIQ strategy, which was finally adopted by the Commission on 11 November 2020. The strategy also deals with the obstacles rainbow families live when they move from a Member State to another Member State.

A workshop held in the PETI Committee introduced the study and invited among others European Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli and COFACE member NELFA to comment. NELFA president Eleni Maravelia urged MEPs to read the study and to inform their national leadership of the problems rainbow families face when exercising the Right to Free Movement.

“We also ask Member States to respect EU Law, treat all European Citizens equally no matter their sexual orientation. Do not wait for a legislative initiative from the EU, do not wait for the CJEU’s rulings. All you need to make the necessary changes is in this study. “

This study examines

  1. The obstacles that rainbow families face when they attempt to exercise their free movement rights within the EU, including examples in petitions presented to the PETI committee
  2. How EU Member States treat same-sex married couples, registered partners, unregistered partners, and their children in cross-border situations
  3. Action that EU institutions could take to remove these obstacles.

The Commission has announced legislative initiatives to ensure the free movement and mutual recognition of rainbow families across the EU.


Supporting documents:

Study – Obstacles to the Free Movement of Rainbow Families in the EU Policy

Full NELFA speech

More information about the workshop

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