The European Parliament unveiled yesterday their annual report on EU citizenship, which stated that same-sex couples and their families still face considerable hurdles inside the European Union.

In the EU Citizenship Report 2010: Dismantling the obstacles to EU citizens’ rights, the European Parliament states that it “reiterates its previous calls for Member States to ensure freedom of movement for all EU citizens and their families, without discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or nationality”.

The report points out to member states that they have a duty to implement the rights granted under the Free Movement Directive of 2004 to both married heterosexual couples as to civil partners and same-sex spouses.

At the time of writing, there are several EU member states which discriminate against same-sex couples who wish to live in or travel to their territory, despite the EU law which says that they be treated the same as opposite-sex couples.

The report also stated that the Parliament “calls on the Commission . . . to ensure that the Directive is strictly applied”. This line had previously been deleted, but was reintroduced yesterday at the insistence of a majority of MEPs.

Adina-Ioana Vălean MEP, Rapporteur for the text, said: “My report makes clear what Parliament has known for over four years now: same-sex couples face serious obstacles to their free movement, which is a pillar of the European Union.

“If we are serious about the European project, the Commission needs to address this situation, as well as other obstacles faced by the citizens when exercising their rights, such as the portability of social benefits, recognition of diplomas and inheritance tax.”

Michael Cashman MEP, Co-president of the LGBT Intergroup, said: “A mother should never be refused entry to her child’s hospital room because her parental authority isn’t recognised. We are not trying to impose same-sex marriage across the EU. Quite simply, what we want is what all decent, fair-minded people want: that a family — any family — be able to travel or live anywhere in the EU without the risk of being separated from their loved ones.”