Equality Rights group GGR - Citizenship in Democracy EQUALITY RIGHTS GGR

News and Information from Gibraltar on Equality, Human, Gay and Social Rights

Sunday, January 29, 2006

GGR Chairman tells EU "Gib Government must comply with the law!"

In a statement today, Equality rights group GGR has informed the press that Chairman Felix Alvarez presented a formal complaint concerning the Gibraltar Government to Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini (pictured left with Mr Alvarez).

“Mr Alvarez brought to the Commissioner’s attention the fact that under Council Directive 2000/43/EC of 29 June 2000 and further to Chapter III, Article 13 of same, there is an unequivocal requirement for the designation of a body or bodies for the promotion of equal treatment of all persons without discrimination on the grounds of racial or ethnic origin. Furthermore, Mr Alvarez pointed out to Commissioner Frattini that under Section 54 (1) (a) of Gibraltar’s Equal Opportunities Ordinance 2004, the Government of Gibraltar reflected this need, even though it does so in language which leaves some doubt as to its real intentions as Mr Caruana chose to use statutory language which speaks of the establishment of an equal opportunities commission “if any”. Mr Alvarez therefore brought the matter to the Justice Commissioner by way of officially informing the EU that the Government of Gibraltar has to date neither established the statutory body nor, indeed, made any information either publicly or privately available regarding this matter. Mr Alvarez therefore requested action on the part of the EU to take steps to ensure the Gibraltar Government complies with their legal obligation,“ the statement says.

For his part, Felix Alvarez stated that “Mr Frattini expressed grave concern regarding Government’s non-compliance with this aspect of EU law and confirmed that he would be taking steps to secure the earliest enforcement of this matter.” Mr Alvarez ended by saying that “It is the duty of Government to take the law seriously and not ignore its requirements.”