Curtea de Justitie a Uniunii Europene: Becali ar fi trebuit sanctionat pentru homofobie

Asociatia ACCEPT a primit o solutie favorabila in cazul afirmatiilor homofobe ale lui George Becali in ceea ce priveste politica de angajare la Steaua Bucuresti

Astazi, 25.04.2013, Curtea de Justitie a Uniunii Europene a decis in cauza referitoare la intrebarile preliminare cu privire la legislatia anti-discriminare din Romania in cazul adus in fata autoritatilor romane de organizatia ACCEPT impotriva lui George Becali. Judecatorii europeni au hotarat ca afirmatiile lui George Becali ca nu accepta un homosexual la echipa Steaua pot fi considerate fapte din care se poate prezuma existenta unei politici discriminatorii impotriva homosexualilor la angajare in cadrul Clubului Steaua Bucuresti.

Curtea a decis ca este in sarcina clubului sa dovedeasca faptul ca nu discrimineaza impotriva homosexualilor afirmand explicit ca: imprejurarea ca acest angajator nu s-a distantat in mod clar de declaratiile respective poate fi luata in considerare cu ocazia aprecierii politicii sale de recrutare. In ceea ce priveste mecanismul national de sanctionare a discriminarii, Curtea a hotarat ca odata adoptat un sistem de sanctionare a faptelor de discriminare, acesta trebuie sa fie unul efectiv, proportional si disuasiv, nu doar unul cu statut de avertisment. In acest sens, Curtea a criticat termenul de sase luni dupa care Consiliul National pentru Combaterea Discriminarii din Romania aplica numai sanctiunea cu avertisment, nu si sanctiunea amenzii.

Hotararea Curtii este in primul rand un semnal din partea Uniunii Europene ca nu este suficienta adoptarea unor masuri in domeniul combaterii discriminarii doar pe hartie, fara aplicarea lor cu buna credinta. Se asteapta aplicarea in practica a legilor si rezultate concrete. „Discriminarea, inclusiv discriminarea la angajare, este o fapta grava care nu poate fi tolerata intr-o tara care se doreste a fi membru cu drepturi depline al Uniunii Europene. Este frustrant ca a trebuit sa ajungem la Luxemburg pentru ca autoritatilor nationale sa li se explice acest lucru” constata Iustina Ionescu avocata care a reprezentat ACCEPT in acest caz. Mesajul transmis de Curte este ca sistemul de protectie impotriva discriminarii din Romania trebuie intarit si aplicat cu aceeasi intransigenta, indiferent ca este vorba despre un angajator de rand care discrimineaza sau despre un club de fotbal de notorietate, cum este Clubul Steaua Bucuresti iar afirmatiile apartin unei persoane publice, in acel moment membru al Parlamentului European si in prezent membru al Comisiei Juridice a Senatului Romaniei.

In al doilea rand, Curtea a decis ca homosexualii sunt protejati de legea din Romania si din Uniunea Europeana in mod egal, la fel ca orice persoana. Ceea ce conteaza la angajarea in munca sunt competentele profesionale si nu orientarea sexuala, varsta, religia, genul sau etnia. Judecatorii europeni stabilesc prin aceasta hotarare ca angajatorii din toate statele membre ale Uniunii Europene au obligatia legala de a se manifesta mult mai activ pentru a preveni discriminarea la locul de munca. Florin Buhuceanu, directorul ACCEPT explica mesajul Curtii: de la nivelul conducerii unei companii sau institutii se asteapta mesajul catre publicul larg si catre angajati, actionari sau colaboratori: „Toleranta zero fata de discriminare!” Cei care discrimineaza sau permit discriminarea la ei in organizatie vor plati din propriul buzunar pentru vatamarea drepturilor celor expusi discriminarii.

Acesta este primul caz de discriminare pe criteriul orientarii sexuale la angajare in Uniunea Europeana iar solutia Curtii este obligatorie in egala masura pentru toate instantele nationale din statele membre atunci cand sunt confruntate cu o problema similara, explica Romanita Iordache, expert anti-discriminare. Ca urmare a acestui caz, nu exista o sanctiune directa aplicata Romaniei, aceasta fiind una dintre diferentele dintre Curtea de la Luxemburg si cea de la Strasbourg. Pentru a evita insa initierea unor proceduri de sanctionare a Romaniei pentru lipsa de concordanta cu dreptul comunitar, autoritatile nationale au insa obligatia modificarii legislatiei pentru a asigura deplina concordanta cu decizia Curtii, atat in ceea ce priveste textul legii cat si in ceea ce priveste intepretarea sa.

Cazul va fi reluat la Curtea de Apel Bucuresti care se va pronunta in baza hotararii CJUE.

Relatii suplimentare la:
Florin Buhuceanu: 0728 530 729
Iustina Ionescu: 0754 306 131

ACCEPT wins in the case of homophobic statements of the former MEP George Becali regarding recruitment policy at Steaua Bucharest Football Club

Today, 25.04.2013, the Court of Justice of the European Union has decided in the case of preliminary questions regarding anti-discrimination legislation in Romania filed by ACCEPT Association against George Becali, former MEP, currently member of the Legal Committee of the Romanian Senate. The European judges decided that George Becali’s statements that there will be no homosexuals at Steaua team are facts from which it may be presumed the existence of a discriminatory recruitment policy against homosexuals within Steaua Bucharest Football Club. The Court stated that it is the burden of the club to prove that it does not discriminate against homosexuals by stating that the fact that the employer did not clearly distance itself from the statements can be taken into consideration when assessing the recruitment policies. With regards to the national sanctioning mechanism against discrimination, the Court decided that once a sanctioning system is established, it must be effective, proportionate and dissuasive, not only having the nature of a warning. The Court criticized the six month time limit after which the National Council for Combating Discrimination in Romania applies only warnings and not administrative fines.

First of all, the Court judgment is a signal from the European Union that it is not enough to adopt measures against discrimination only on paper, without enforcing them in good faith. The enforcement of laws in practice and concrete results are expected. “Discrimination, including discrimination in employment, is a serious offence that cannot be tolerated in a country that wants to be a full member of the European Union. It is frustrating to go to Luxembourg to make sure that the national authorities understand this.” said Iustina Ionescu, the lawyer that represented ACCEPT in this case. The message sent by the Court is that the Romanian system of protection against discrimination must be strengthened and applied with the same weight in the case of the common employer or a notorious football club, such as Steaua Bucuresti Football Club, and the statements belong to a public figure, who was a member of the European Parliament at the time of the statements, now a senator member of the Legal Commission in the Romanian Senate.

Secondly, the Court decided that the law in Romania and in the European Union protects homosexuals, just like other persons. What should matter when hiring a person is professional competence and not sexual orientation, age, religion, gender or ethnicity. By this judgment, the European judges state that employers from all Member States of the European Union are under a legal obligation to be more pro-active in order to prevent discrimination at the workplace. Florin Buhuceanu, the director of ACCEPT explains the message of the Court: “the top management of a company or a public institution should be the first to send the message out to the public and the employees: “Zero tolerance to discrimination!” The ones that discriminate or allow discrimination in their organization will pay out of pocket for infringing the rights of persons exposed to discrimination.

”This is the first case of discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation in recruitment in the European Union and the solution of the Court is mandatory for all the national courts in all Member States when confronted with similar problems” explains Romanita Iordache, anti-discrimination expert. As a result of this case, there is no direct sanction imposed to Romania, this being one of the differences between the Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights. In order to avoid procedures against Romania for non-compliance with EU law, national authorities must amend legislation to bring it in line with the Court judgment, in terms of legal provisions and the interpretation and application of these provisions.

The case will be finalized by the Court of Appeal Bucharest based on the decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Info:
Florin Buhuceanu: +40728530729
Iustina Ionescu:+4 0754306131

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