Catherine has today signed the petition, launched by Lib Dem MEP Liz Lynne to press the Commission to honor its commitment to end discrimination at all levels.
The petition is at www.signtostopdiscrimination.org
The petition was launched in support of Liz Lynne's report which calls on the European Commission to honour its commitment to bring forward a comprehensive directive to outlaw discrimination in access to goods and services covering all areas presently excluded, including disability, age, religion or belief and sexual orientation.
The European Commission promised to bring forward proposals for the directive in its work programme for 2008 and the issue figured prominently in the approval of the Barroso Commission in 2004 but some Member States are objecting to this. The Commissioner made a commitment to a comprehensive directive in its work programme, but there appears to be some backtracking on this and the Commission might only bring forward legislation on disability and nothing else. This is not acceptable; hence Liz has launched this petition.
Catherine said "I have always worked hard to help remove barriers that discriminate against people and prevent them having equality of opportunity, whatever those barriers may be. I am delighted to do this small thing to help Liz with her work as Vice President of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee, she is doing just the sort of work that Liberal Democrats are working hard for at every level".
The petition states:-
I declare my belief that protection of human rights should be a fundamental principle of the European Union. It is vital that the millions of people currently excluded from anti-discrimination legislation in access to goods and services are given the equal rights they are entitled to as European citizens.
I hereby call on MEPs and EU Member States to support proposals from the European Commission to bring forward a directive to outlaw discrimination in access to goods and services on grounds of disability, age, sexual orientation and religion as soon as possible, in line with the commitments made by the Commission in its 2008 work programme.