A new petition to convince the European Commission and Member States to bring forward a European anti-discrimination directive has been launched today by Liberal Democrat MEP Liz Lynne.

Liz Lynne MEP, Vice-President of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee spoke in support of a European Parliament report calling for a horizontal directive.

Speaking in Brussels, Liz Lynne said:

“Anti-discrimination and the protection of human rights are the fundamental principles of the European Union and 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.

“Millions of individuals encounter discrimination everyday. A comprehensive horizontal directive covering access to goods and services would tackle this discrimination and break down the barriers currently faced by so many.

Yesterday PinkNews.co.uk reported on the EU decision to scale back its anti discrimination directive.

Green Party MEP Jean Lambert, co-president of the Intergroup on Ageing and member of the Intergroup on Disability and Gay and Lesbian Rights said:

“This decision is a real blow to the protection of many groups experiencing discrimination in the European Union.

“The directive is being held back by the most conservative countries and those, like the UK, who have progressive laws on this issue, have failed to push for protection across the EU.”

The Czech Republic is also known to be opposed, while Sweden, Finland, Spain and the UK are strongly in favour.

She continued, “Age and LGBT campaigners are sorely disappointed by the lack of leadership that the UK has taken, instead having chosen to develop its own legislation outside of the European process.”

Information on how to support the bill can be found at www.signtostopdiscrimination.org