Raising and discussing the issue of the rights of rainbow families in cross-border movement within the EU, member of the Renew Europe Group in the European Committee of the Regions (Renew Europe CoR), Councillor Kate Feeney will focus on how local authorities can rise above and beyond of existing national laws in an upcoming webinar this Thursday.
Through a video message, Kate Feeney, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council (Fianna Fáil) and rapporteur on the LGBTIQ strategy in the European Committee of the Regions, plans to highlight the regional and local perspective of the issue of rainbow families.
These families face many difficulties when moving to another EU Member State. Due to differences in family law, their familial ties might not be recognised when crossing internal EU borders since family law is a Member State competence, except when it concerns measures concerning family law ‘having cross-border implications’. More than 150 million citizens live in these border regions.
Feeney has noticed regional discrepancies on top of national differences in the treatment of rainbow families: “We as decision-makers shouldn’t shy away from these discussions, we can’t be shy in saying that this isn’t good enough. We’re all part of a European community and family, which brings freedom, rights, but also responsibilities – it’s on all of us to call out actions that we deem below the European standards. And local authorities don’t have to wait for national parliaments, we can take actions on our own!”
She compares best practices of cities such as Turin in Italy to what happens in countries with LGBT-free zones: “Look at cities like Turin, which went above and beyond of what their national parliaments were legislating by recognising same sex couples before parliament did. Rather than looking at countries like Poland and Hungary leading in LGBT-free zones, let’s look at Turin: this is the way forward.”
The webinar in which Kate Feeney will participate on Thursday is part of the Renew4Equality working programme with a monthly webinar on LGBTI-related issues, and her intervention comes upon invitation of Renew Europe MEPs Liesje Schreinemacher and Sandro Gozi.