Joint press statement by aditus & Malta Gay Rights Movement on the correct transposition of the EU Freedom of Movement Directive

The Malta Gay Rights Movement and aditus acknowledge the positive step forward made by the Maltese Government in amending Maltese legislation to correctly reflect the requirements of the EU’s Freedom of Movement Directive although they regret that such a change from obviously discriminatory legislation only came about after infringement proceedings by the European Commission.

With this amendment EU nationals in a relationship with a third country national of the same sex, wishing to move to and reside in Malta should now have their entry facilitated. Being married or in a registered partnership should automatically qualify as a durable relationship duly attested for the purposes of the directive. Where no such formalisation of the relationship exists, other proof might be requested by the local authorities.

This is a step forward although it also creates an anomalous situation whereby relationships of Maltese citizens with a third country national of the same sex enjoy less protection than those of other EU nationals in the same situation moving to Malta. In other words, a South African national in a relationship with a Belgian citizen, would be allowed to enter, reside and work in Malta whereas the same person in a relationship with a Maltese citizen would not.

Gabi Calleja, coordinator of MGRM said: “This amendment is welcome but it in no way replaces the necessity for the introduction of comprehensive legislation recognising same-sex couples. It is regrettable that a number of same-sex couples are forced to leave Malta in order to sustain their relationship each year.” 

aditus Chairperson Dr. Neil Falzon added that “this is a clear example of how European Union membership may also imply strengthening the recognition and enforcement of fundamental human rights.”