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Sign now: stop discrimination right across Europe

April 17, 2008 11:06 PM
Liz Lynne MEP

Liz Lynne MEP

A new petition to convince the European Commission and Member States to bring forward a European anti-discrimination directive has been launched today by Lib Dem MEP Liz Lynne. Current EU anti-discrimination laws outlaw discrimination in the workplace on all grounds but only provide protection against discrimination in access to goods and services on the basis of gender and race while disability, age, sexual orientation and religion are excluded.

The MEP is seeking support from people and organisations across Europe to put pressure on the EU Commission and Member States to bring forward a horizontal directive, after it emerged that some Member States have expressed strong objections to the proposal.

Liz Lynne MEP, Vice-President of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee, is rapporteur for a European Parliament own initiative report calling for a horizontal directive, adopted by committee last week, which will be voted on by the whole Parliament in May.

Speaking in Brussels Liz Lynne said:

"Anti-discrimination and the protection of human rights are the fundamental principles of the European Union and it is vital that the millions of people currently excluded from anti-discrimination legislation in access to goods and services are given the equal rights they are entitled to as European citizens.

"Millions of individuals encounter discrimination everyday. A comprehensive horizontal directive covering access to goods and services would tackle this discrimination and break down the barriers currently faced by so many.

"My hope is that this petition will contribute to the groundswell of organisations and individuals calling for this legislation and convince President Barroso, Member States and MEPs of their obligation to put in place tangible rights for all people, not just a few."

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