Saturday

13th Aug 2022

EU commission to map gender recognition

  • The European Commission is probing issues around gender recognition (Photo: Kuba Bożanowski)

The European Commission is set to map out how EU states recognise genders as part of a wider effort to advance the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people.

Speaking at an event in Brussels on Tuesday (26 February), a senior commission official said the move will be presented at the end of March, in a report to the European Parliament.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

"For the first time ever we will have a new category, where we will map the situation in the member states," said Irena Moozova, equality director at the European Commission.

Also known as the binary gender recognition procedure without medical requirement, the category seeks to help people who do not identify with the biological definition of male or female.

Once mapped, the commission may then issue specific recommendations for the member states to ease people's choices on how they see themselves.

Free will

ILGA-Europe, a Brussels-based NGO, said people should have the free will to choose their identities without having to resort to invasive surgeries.

Micah Grzywnowicz, ILGA-Europe board co-chair, said some laws in Europe need reform when it comes to legal gender recognition.

"We are talking about forced sterilisation, that is still present in [some] legislation, when people want to access gender recognition," she said, speaking alongside Moozova.

Sweden had a sterilisation requirement up until 2013, a practice described the United Nations as inhumane treatment. Sweden's parliament last year adopted a new law allowing sterilised transgender people to now seek financial compensation.

Serbia, meanwhile, still requires people to get sterilised.

Things appear more progressive elsewhere. Scotland last year backed a new law to allow people to self-declare gender.

Spain had also prepared a draft law last year, since stalled, to recognise people who don't see themselves as either male or female, also defined as non-binary. Germany has also opened up, allowing intersex people to legally identify themselves as such.

"You are the right person to decide who you are and how to live your life," said Grzywnowicz, noting that minors should also be able to choose.

The commission's announcement follows a European parliament resolution passed earlier this month on intersex people.

It also follows ILGA-Europe's annual review, published on Tuesday, on the state of human rights of LGBTI people.

It looked at trends across 51 countries, noting among other things, the difficulties faced by LGBTI refugees and asylum-seekers.

Gay rights under threat in divided Europe

From same-sex marriage in Malta to horrors in Azerbaijan - survey shows huge disparities on gay rights in Europe, amid "stagnating" progress and populist threats.

EU court bars tests for gay asylum seekers

Authorities in EU countries can no longer impose controversial psychological tests to determine whether an aslyum seeker is telling the truth about their homosexuality.

Magazine

Binding measures to expand gender balance

Ursula von der Leyen, the first female president of the EU commission, has put a lot of emphasis on trying to create a gender-balanced EU executive. Expanding gender balance will also be a top priority for the FEMM committee.

Column

Albania's post-communist dream has lessons for Ukraine

Comparisons between post-communist Albania and current-day Ukraine are fascinating — and make many pertinent parallels. Ukrainians have a similar determination to belong to "the rest of Europe" as Albanians.

Opinion

Finally, the victims of Utøya got a memorial

A legal battle between locals on the one hand and the state and the labour youth organisation on the other side postponed the inception of the memorial in remembrance of the victims of Anders Behring Breivik.

News in Brief

  1. Germany to help nationals cope with energy price spike
  2. Germany wants pipeline from Portugal
  3. Ukraine urges US to sanction all Russian banks
  4. Spain evacuates 294 Afghans
  5. EU sanctions have 'limited' effect of Russian oil production
  6. Donors pledge €1.5bn to Ukraine's war effort
  7. Sweden overtakes France as EU's top power exporter
  8. Italy's far-right star in European charm offensive

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  3. European Centre for Press and Media FreedomEuropean Anti-SLAPP Conference 2022
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  6. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting

Latest News

  1. Defying Russian bombs, Ukraine football starts 2022 season
  2. Sweden to extradite man wanted by Turkey
  3. EU must beware Beijing's new charm offensive
  4. Forest fire near Bordeaux forces over 10,000 to flee
  5. Estonia and Latvia sever China club ties
  6. Russian coal embargo kicks in, as EU energy bills surge
  7. Only Western unity can stop Iran hostage-diplomacy
  8. Kosovo PM warns of renewed conflict with Serbia

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us