This year on 14 February, Valentine’s Day, members of Renew Europe in the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) celebrated that love is love, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
Kate Feeney, CoR rapporteur on the LGBTIQ+ Equality Strategy, said: “On this day we send all our wishes to our LGBTIQ+ friends...Love knows no boundaries.”
This year, Feeney will assist the work of the jury for the European Capitals of Inclusion and Diversity 2023 award, selected as the sole CoR representative based on her work as rapporteur on LGTBIQ+ rights.
Over the past few years, Renew Europe CoR and its members on a series of initiatives for LGBTIQ+ equality, including:
- At ALDE Party Congress, they called for all liberal Mayors across Europe to promote the right of all citizens to be themselves, ensure a free society respecting the rights of minorities, building bridges, not walls, and to work with Mayors from different political families in their countries to demonstrate the benefits of inclusiveness and embracing diversity.
- They committed to making the EU an LGBTIQ+ freedom zone in cooperation with the other political families in the European Committee of the Regions. On the occasion of the declaration, Renew Europe CoR President François Decoster said: “The defense of LGBTIQ citizens to be themselves with full rights is a top priority for our group. More than ever, we embrace equality and diversity and we stand together in our support of freedom for LGBTIQ citizens across Europe.
- They delivered a letter signed by many Renew Europe CoR members to 30 Polish municipalities, to cooperate on promoting diversity as a source of strength for local and regional communities. They also worked with the French Secretary of State for EU affairs ahead of his visit to Poland in 2021 to call on certain Polish municipalities to rescind their resolution targeting LGBTIQ+ citizens. During the Liberal Mayors Summit, mayors from across Europe also discussed how such resolutions can be replicated at the local level.
- Renew Europe CoR and the European Liberal Forum, among others, joined forces in the LGBTI Freedom Zones in Practice Conference, focusing on urgent issues regarding LGBTIQ+ rights in Europe in early 2022.
- Feeney highlighted the issue of rainbow families and cross-border movement within the EU during a webinar with Renew Europe MEPs as part of the Renew4Equality working programme.