Euro MP's from the European Parliament's equality intergroups', today rallied together at the start of the Year of Equal Opportunities, in the hope of finding a resolution to end the discrimination those from diverse backgrounds often face.
UK Green MEP Jean Lambert, who is Vice-President of the cross party Parliamentary Intergroups on Ageing and Anti-racism and Diversity, and is a member of the Intergroups on Disability and Gay and Lesbian Rights, has welcomed 2007 as a chance to highlight equal opportunities for all.
Speaking after the intergroups meeting in Strasbourg today Jean said:
"It is essential that we make this year as effective as possible from the grassroots all the way through to the European Parliament. EU research shows that too many people either don't know equality legislation exists or what their rights are. It is vital that we use this year to make people aware of the rights that they do have.
"Across the EU some minority groups are more protected than others. In general there are more rights of protection on gender, race and ethnicity than over disability, sexual orientation, faith and belief. We now need to establish an 'equality of equalities' - a legislation to protect everyone equally."
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Notes to editors:
Jean Lambert: In October 2005 Jean was named MEP 2005 for Justice and Human Rights. Jean was first elected Green Party Member of the European Parliament for London in the 1999 European elections. She was re-elected in 2004. She is one of nine MEPs representing London and one of two UK Green representatives in the European Parliament.