Malta wanted “more ambitious” EU defence of LGBTI community

Malta has joined seven other EU member states in calling for a stronger effort to provide equal rights to everyone and ensure LGBTI persons are free from discrimination. 

The joint statement, signed by Malta, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Belgium, Greece, Luxembourg and Portugal, comes hot on the heels of an Employment and Social Policy Council meeting in Luxembourg, during which EU ministers adopted Council Conclusions on a new start for a strong social dialogue.

In a statement, the Civil Liberties ministry said that Malta was hoping for a “more ambitious and stronger message concerning the…human rights of LGBTI persons” to emerge from the Council Conclusions. 

Civil Liberties Minister Helena Dalli remarked that member states had to send a strong political message, in the wake of a massacre of 49 people inside an Orlando gay nightclub. 

Last May, Hungary vetoed a draft agreement calling on the European Commission to tackle homophobic and transphobic discrimination, promote measures to advance LGBTI equality, and step up efforts to collect data on the treatment of LGBTI citizens.

The joint statement signed by Malta and the seven other member states calls for a stronger concerted effort from all to work within and outside the EU for equal rights and opportunities for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity and to ensure that cultural, traditional or religious values cannot be invoked to justify any form of discrimination.