The Égalité Committee has been working closely with the European Commission over the past years to resolve a number of issues some of our colleagues have been having with regard to medical reimbursements and work-life balance provisions, while at the same time working to help create a more inclusive working environment.
Since our meeting with member of the European Commission, Mr. Oettinger on these issues in February 2017, the cooperation has intensified and the Égalité Committee was consulted during the preparation of the Communication to the Commission: A better work place for all: from equal opportunities towards diversity and inclusion.
The Commission adopted the communication on 19 July 2017. The Égalité Committee is pleased with the content, especially as the communication calls for creating “a culture where everybody is valued and respected”, and putting in place “targeted measures” that enable LGBTI staff “to feel comfortable and confident to be open about their LGBTI identity and hence fully participate in the social dimension of the workplace”, It also calls for an active exchange of information and good practices with international companies and public administrations, which reflects member of the Commission, Mr. Oettinger’s view that the Commission should lead by example towards both the other EU institutions and the administrations of the Member States.
The Commission, under one of the envisaged action points, declares that it will ensure that managers are trained specifically to prevent discrimination and bias in relation to LGBTI staff, that it will continue organising central staff awareness-raising events on the occasion of the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT), and that it will pursue a zero-tolerance policy against discrimination and harassment.
The Commission also states its commitment to support representative organisations of LGBTI staff by offering logistic support where necessary and providing them with a platform on the Commission’s intranet site.
President of ÉGALITÉ, the association for LGBTI staff of the EU Institutions, said: “The Communication, by recognising the multiple facets of diversity, sets the path for an ambitious Action Plan. This will give the Commission the capacity to be at the forefront of public administrations on the matter.”
The Égalité Committee is looking forward to continuing its good cooperation with member of the Commission, Mr. Oettinger and will be pleased to support any specific actions for implementing the communication.