gbsteve (gbsteve) wrote,

Help get recognition for Civil Partnerships in Europe

France and Britain both have Civil Partnerships for, amongst other people, same sex couples. However, whilst the UK recognises the French Pacs, they don't recognise our Civil Partnerships, but at the same time they won't let anyone already in a Partnership take out a Pacs. There are quite a few British residents in France (and possibly elsewhere in Europe) who are affected by this, (see Pink News for more details).

A group of MEPs is getting together a petition to take to the European Parliament to try to persuade the French authorities to acknowledge CPs from other countries. However, they need 50% of MEPs to sign the petition by January 15th 2009 before it can go forward. This is 393 people and up to today only 121 have signed.

If you would like to help, could you write to all the MEPs in your area? There's a sample letter I've been given behind the cut.

Take this letter and go to Write to Them. Put in your postcode and it gives you all the MEPs in your area. Then you click that you want to write them a letter, fill out your name etc, paste the letter onto the page and send. They will send you an email immediately which you use to confirm that you want to send the letter. It will take you about 5 minutes.


Dear -your MEP-

You may be aware of the current situation regarding the recognition of British Civil Partnerships by the French authorities.

In brief the French authorities afford no fiscal rights to couples residing in France who old a UK Civil Partnership. Consequently, on the death of one of the parties the surviving party is not recognized as a beneficiary by marriage, but is required to pay an inheritance tax bill of 60%. The only solution for British same sex couples residing in France is to sign a ‘Pacs’, the French equivalent of a civil partnership. However, couples who already have a UK Civil Partnership are prevented from signing a Pacs until they have their CP dissolved by the English Courts of Law. To do this they must give ‘Just Cause’.

In essence this means that British Same sex couples who reside or own property in France will face huge debt and, in many cases, have no alternative other than to sell their homes in order to pay the French tax bill should their partner die.

Many will be rendered virtually destitute.

A group of MEPs is gathering support for a declaration on this matter to the European Parliament. The MEPs written declaration needs the signatures of 393 MEPs out of 785 by January 15th 2009 if it is to be adopted by the parliament. If they succeed the Commission will have to take action or explain why they will not. The declaration calls for all states with Civil Partnerships to recognise those of other countries. Unfortunately, as I write only 121 MEPs have signed up to the proposal.

I am appealing to you for help and support. You will surely agree that an iniquity is being perpetrated by the French authorities in discriminating against non French same sex partnerships. If you have not already signed the declaration, then I ask you to do so and exhort your member colleagues to do the same. Without your support there will be no chance of any change in French law and British people will continue to be deprived of their own property.

Yours sincerely

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