Equality Rights group GGR - Citizenship in Democracy EQUALITY RIGHTS GGR

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

Monday, April 09, 2012

GGR in EU complaint

Equality Rights Group GGR has submitted a complaint to MEP Sir Graham Watson, the group has announced in a communiqué to the press.

‘The matter relates to a Europe-wide survey on real life experiences of sexual minorities. As a group, we have received many reports from individuals on the Rock who have wanted to participate in providing feedback to the EU on a survey it is undertaking in order to have hard facts to inform its policy making. Nonetheless, when Gibraltarians have been in the process of completing the online survey, they have found that Gibraltar is excluded from the list of participating countries, the only option available being the UK as representative.

‘We fully understand that, for EU purposes, Gibraltar is not a stand-alone Member State, and that its membership is by proxy via the United Kingdom. Whilst this is not a satisfactory situation it is, however, hard political fact. Nonetheless, in a situation where the EU is asking for real-life experience to be fed back for its policy information, it makes no sense at all that Gibraltarians should be grouped under the UK, as if the information reflected not Gibraltar experience but the UK's.

‘GGR has approached Sir Graham Watson, MEP, as a first point of contact to raise the complaint. However, whilst we await what if any amendment might be possible on this issue, we shall study the possibility of taking the matter up further within the European Union.

‘GGR has long complained of the lack of an explicit mechanism for Gibraltar social and human rights information to be regularly reported to the EU. Member States are required to present periodic reports to the Union, but we see no procedure in sight and in place which similarly takes care of putting Gibraltar issues to the European Union. It is little wonder, therefore, if Gibraltarians should feel distanced, uninvolved and uncared for by an EU which does not take effective measures to remedy this deficit,’ the statement ends.