Friday, 27 November 2009

Simon Busuttil: [Against] Recognition of same-sex marriages

Press Release: 26.11.9 entitled:

EU-wide area of freedom, justice and security is the next big EU project – Simon Busuttil MEP - Resolution calls again for compulsory solidarity in immigration.

Simon Busuttil MEP, EPP coordinator in the Committee for Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs welcomed the adoption by the European Parliament of the resolution on the Stockholm Programme hailing it as a big success for the EPP group.

The resolution was adopted by a big majority by the Strasbourg plenary on Thursday and lists the political priorities of the European Parliament in the area of justice and home affairs for the next five years. The so-called Stockholm Programme will now be up for adoption by the Council of Ministers next week.

“Creating an EU-wide area of freedom, justice and security for European citizens is the next big EU project after the completion of the EU single market and we shall be pursuing this ambitious project enthusiastically.” said Simon Busuttil.

“I am very satisfied with today’s vote because the resolution bears all the marks of the EPP’s political priorities in justice and home affairs and it reflects our commitment to a citizens’ Europe and to a safer Europe.” he said.

The resolution covers a range of subjects falling within the area of justice and home affairs, ranging from cooperation in police and customs matters, criminal and civil law, immigration and asylum, visa policy, EU citizenship, civil liberties and fundamental freedoms.


On immigration the resolution reiterates the European Parliament’s adopted Simon Busuttil’s amendment calling for solidarity to be established on a “compulsory and irrevocable” basis. The resolution also places priority on the fight against illegal immigration notably through better co-operation with third countries, the strengthening of Frontex and through better coordination of the return of irregular migrants.

Recognition of Same-Sex Marriages

The resolution’s success was in doubt until the last minute as MEPs argued over whether the resolution should call for the recognition of same-sex marriages contracted in other Member States. In the event, the plenary replaced this reference with a compromise amendment tabled by Simon Busuttil, on behalf of the EPP group, which removed the reference to recognition.

"We are satisfied that reason has prevailed and that this compromise was adopted.” Simon Busuttil said.

“On the basis of the principle of subsidiarity, European law should not oblige Member States to recognise same-sex marriages contracted in other Member States since family law is a matter for individual countries to determine.” he said.

“This was reflected in our compromise amendment which supported freedom of movement of persons without discrimination, including on grounds of sexual orientation. However it also made it clear that this must not prejudice the right of individual countries to decide for themselves how they wish to regulate family law.” “I know that this is a sensitive issue for different people with diametrically opposite views on this delicate matter; however my compromise was reasonable and fair and that is why it found the support of a cross-party majority in the chamber." Busuttil said.

[You can watch the intervention of Dr Busuttil in the EP plenary here.]

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