Reply from the Presidency of the Diversity Europe Group to the letter from MEPs concerning the Nomination of the VP of the Board of Ordo Iuris to the Diversity Europe Group

Marc ANGEL, Co-Chair, LGBTI Intergroup (S&D)

Terry REINTKE, Co-Chair, LGBTI Intergroup (Greens-EFA, Vice-President)

Fabio Massimo CASTALDO, Vice-President, LGBTI Intergroup (EP Vice-President, Non-attached)

Liesje SCHREINEMACHER, Vice-President, LGBTI Intergroup (Renew Europe)

Malin BJÖRK, Vice-President, LGBTI Intergroup (The Left)

Maria WALSH, Vice-President, LGBTI Intergroup (EPP)

Frédérique RIES, Vice-President, Renew Europe

Alice KUHNKE, Vice-President, Greens/European Free Alliance

Gwendoline DELBOS-CORFIELD, Vice-President, Greens/European Free Alliance

Sira REGO, Vice-President, The Left

Cyrus ENGERER (S&D)

Dietmar KÖSTER (S&D)

Evelyne GEBHARDT (S&D)

Gabriele BISCHOFF (S&D)

Giuliano PISAPIA (S&D)

Giuseppina PICIERNO (S&D)

Hilde VAUTMANS (Renew Europe)

Irène TOLLERET (Renew Europe)

Karen MELCHIOR (Renew Europe)

Karin KARLSBRO (Renew Europe)

Łukasz KOHUT (S&D)

Manu PINEDA (The Left)

Magdalena ADAMOWICZ (EPP)

Manuel BOMPARD (The Left)

Monika VANA (Greens-EFA)

Pernando BARRENA (The Left)

Radka MAXOVÁ (Renew Europe)

Rasmus ANDRESEN (Greens-EFA)

Robert BIEDROŃ (S&D)

Rosa D’AMATO (Greens-EFA)

Saskia BRICMONT (Greens-EFA)

Sophie IN’T VELD (Renew Europe)

Sylvie GUILLAUME (S&D)

Sylwia SPUREK (Greens-EFA)

Subject: Letter on the Nomination of the VP of the Board of Ordo Iuris to the EESC Diversity Europe Group – MEPs address the Presidency of the Group

We, the President and Vice-Presidents of the EESC's Diversity Europe Group of the EESC, are seriously concerned about the elements brought to our attention in your letter dated 18 February 2021. The positions expressed by the organization 'Ordo Iuris' on issues regarding equal rights, especially of LGBTI people, are not in line with our values, nor with those of our Committee or the Treaties (art. 2 and 3 of the TEU).

We expect from all our Members their commitment to respect the Code of Conduct – being an integral part of the EESC's Internal Rules of Procedure - which explicitly states in art. 1 par. 5 : '... the members shall ensure, in the performance of their duties, the promotion, effective protection and respect of fundamental rights and values such as human dignity, non-discrimination, tolerance, freedom, solidarity, the principle of the rule of law and gender equality.'

Within this context, we remain firm in our commitment to ensure that our Group fulfills its mission of representing and defending the rights promoted by associations representing the family, women and gender equality issues, youth, minority and underprivileged groups, including persons with disabilities and many people affected by social exclusion. Members joining Diversity Europe Group will know that we make no exceptions and if members cannot adhere to these principles and values, we would always ask them to seriously re-consider their membership of our Group. In this context we will proceed as follows:

  • Request clarifications from Mr Tymoteusz Zych on his views with respect to those promoted by the organization of which he is vice-president;
  • Establish information regarding his publicly expressed positions on issues such as gender equality, women rights, minorities and fundamental rights;
  • Based on the information collected and a hearing with Mr Zych, the Presidency will make recommendations to the Group;
  • While waiting to complete the procedure, Mr Zych has agreed not to participate in any activities related the study group on the LGBTIQ Equality Strategy 2020-2025.

Last but not least, we will also be happy to meet the signatories of the letter in order to have a direct exchange on the EESC's appointment procedures.

Again we would note that the process of nomination of EESC members (art. 302 of the TFEU) is not within our control. Governments in each member country make proposals and the Council adopts them after consulting the Commission and having the faculty of obtaining the opinion of European bodies which are representative of the various economic and social sectors and of civil society to which the Union's activities are of concern.  Once this process is completed, the EESC just accepts the nomination. We would note that we are not aware of any objections raised to Mr Zych (nominated for Confederation of Non-Governmental Initiatives of the Republic) during this process.

The Diversity Europe Group can demonstrate a strong record in promoting fundamental rights of all citizens, especially those who are marginalized for any reason. We will continue to do so.

Yours sincerely,

Séamus Boland, President

Ariane Rodert, Vice-President

Ioannis Vardakastanis, Vice-President

Jan Dirx, Vice-President

Kinga Joó, Vice-President

Pietro Vittorio Barbieri, Vice-President

Rudolf Kolbe, Vice-President

Simo Tiainen, Vice-President

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Letter to MEPs