EWL News

Racist, homophobic, sexist remarks: NGOs call on Commissioner Öttinger to resign

[Brussels 8 November 2016] In an Open Letter to the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, European NGOs European Women’s Lobby, ILGA-Europe, European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association and ENAR - European Network Against Racism voice out their dismay concerning the racist, homophobic and sexist remarks by Commissioner Öttinger during a speech last week. See video here.

That is why EWL, ILGA-Europe and ENAR call on Commissioner Öttinger to resign with immediate effect.

Furthermore we call on both Presidents to:

  • Issue an official statement of condemnation by the European Commission, acknowledging the damage done by this type of statement and for the mishandling by the EC;
  • At the time of the appointment of a new Commissioner responsible for Human Resources, to make a clear commitment to adopt internal staff policies for the European Commission that fully ensure non-discrimination based on all ground set out in the EU treaties and case law, and to ensure that the EC steps up its efforts to create truly a truly inclusive workplace for everyone.
  • Develop a plan of action for strengthening and implementing the code of conduct for Commissioners and officials of all EU Institutions, including systematic investigation and stronger implementation of sanctions in cases of sexist, racist and/or hate speech by members of the European Commission, and through giving the power to the Ombudsperson to monitor EC Commissioners’ and officials’ public statements.

Find the Open Letter here.

Find the September 2016 call by 177 European and national Civil Society Organisations and Trade Unions came together for “A new Europe for people, planet and prosperity for all” here In that call, we urged that “We must all – leaders, media and individuals – actively and at every opportunity speak out and act against division, marginalisation of different groups in society and those that play on fears for their own political ends.”

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