International Conference organized by l'Autre Cercle in Strasbourg - 18th et 19th november 2011



This conference, whose origins can be traced back to a project on international mobility initiated by the International studies group of l’Autre Cercle, was held in Strasbourg on November 18 and 19, in close cooperation with the city of Strasbourg, with the patronage of the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, Mr. Thorbjørn Jagland, and with support from Sodexo, corporate partner of l’Autre Cercle.

It featured more than 30 speakers from 18 countries and attracted approximately 120 participants.

In Europe, married heterosexual couples constantly cross national borders within Europe without even a second thought. They are secure in the knowledge that their unions and the legal consequences of these unions are universally recognised.

Such is not the case for couples in same-sex unions. Their right to freedom of movement is constantly ignored. Simply by crossing a national border, such couples united by registered partnerships or same-sex marriages may lose all their social and fiscal rights, their rights as parents or even their nationalities of birth. Their unions are not recognised, their rights to freedom of movement across frontiers are flouted or denied.

It is precisely to highlight these instances of unacceptable sexual-orientation-based discrimination that l’Autre Cercle, is organizing a two days’ international conference in Strasbourg, a city that is a highly symbolic venue because it is not only the seat of the Council of Europe with its 47 member states and of the European Court of Human Rights but also home to the European Parliament which guarantees the fundamental rights of citizens of the European l’Union Européenne.


The program in french and in english

Biographies of conference speakers in english

Declaration of Strasbourg in frenchin english and in italian

On the website of the Council of Europe

The talks

Please find here some transcriptions :

Ralf-René Weingaertner, Director, Directorate of Human Rights and AntiDiscrimination, Council of Europe : in english

Bruno Selun, Secretary of LGBT Intergroup in European Parlement : slides in english

Caroline Mecary, Avocate - Le Role des Recours : en français et in english

Joke Swiebel, Former member of European Parliament - The fight for the Freedom of Movement Directive : in english

Lt.Col. Jan Stinessen, International Mobility Policies for same sex couples in the Netherlands Armed Forces : in english


The gallery

In the press

Our press release

23th novembre : La Déclaration de Strasbourg appelle l’Europe à garantir les droits des personnes LGBT, en particulier la liberté de circulation

18th novembre : En Europe, des obstacles importants pour les couples de même sexe - in english

16th novembre : Conférence de presse : situation en Europe des partenariats entre personnes de même sexe

10th octobre : Conférence internationale

In the press

30th novembre : ILGA's EuroLetter (english)

25th novembre : Bulletin quotidien Europe n°10502 - Déclaration sur les droits des LGBTI (french)

21th novembre : Tê - Les droits inégaux des couples homos en Europe font débat (french)

18th novembre : France Bleu Alsace - Interview de B. Eberhardt - Conférence Internationale Strasbourg à partir de 3:43 (french)

15th novembre : Interview de Philippe Orillac (bulgarian)

19th novembre : - Les couples homosexuels sont confrontés à une jungle législative en Europe (french)

18th novembre : - Conference highlights tax, pension and migration issues for gay couples in the EU (english)

18th novembre : Cascara Amarga - La UE estudia las dificultades de movimiento de las parejas homosexuales entre los países miembros (spanish)

7th novembre : Interview Geoff Ross pour le blog du conseil de l'Europe (english)

Some comments

Depuis la fin de la conférence, le samedi 19 novembre, nous avons reçu un certain nombre de lettres en provenance des participants, des intervenants ou des membres de l’Autre Cercle, présents à Strasbourg.

Ces lettres nous témoignent de l’intérêt des débats et du haut niveau des intervenant-e-s et de leurs présentations. Elles témoignent de l’importance et de l’utilité de la conférence mais aussi du plaisir à avoir pu y nouer des contacts et faire des rencontres avec d’autres personnes et personnalités venant de toute l’Europe qui travaillent sur ce thème.

En voici quelques-uns :

De la part des participants

“Again, I must say it was a great conference. I really enjoyed the speeches (and chats) and established invaluable contacts with other people and networks. Congratulations to all of you and please, extend my gratitude to all the Autre Cercle members.

“I …..look forward to the second edition of the Mutual Recognition conference”.

Participant, Italie

“I would like to congratulate you and the Autre Cercle for an excellent and very informative two days. It was the most impressive conference on LGBT rights in European Union Law that I have ever had the opportunity to attend”.

Participant, Irlande

De la part des intervenants

« Encore bravo pour une très bonne conférence à Strasbourg, tout le monde était d'accord pour dire que c'était de haut niveau ».

Intervenant, Belgique

“It was great to engage with you over the weekend. Thank you as I learnt a lot and believe that the event will have an impact on the European Commission’s work”.

Intervenant, Belgique

"I just want to thank you again for these two amazing days. It was a pleasure to participate in your conference and meet all of you from l'Autre Cercle: you are doing such a great job, I hope that our two association will have the occasion to work together again!

Intervenant, Italie

“Congratulations again on such a solid and useful conference”

Intervenante, Irlande

"Thanks again for the wonderful conference"

Intervenant, France

“I suppose you must have been exhausted after last week’s conference in Strasbourg. It was a very succesful and interesting event. I have to commend you and your team for good intellectual work of planning this event, inviting the right people etc. and also for the more practical aspects.  The Declaration was well formulated. Very good.

In short : Bravo!”

Intervenant-e néerlandaise

"Thanks again for the opportunity to address the l'Autre Cercle Conference last week. I really enjoyed it, learned a lot and established new valuable contacts."

Intervenant néerlandais

De la part de membres de l’Autre Cercle

« Merci pour cette conférence si riche et si intéressante! »

Membre de l’Autre Cercle

« Encore bravo pour cette conférence et à toute l’équipe »

Membre de l’Autre Cercle

« Merci pour la très grande qualité des intervenants et des interventions. Ce fut une grande conférence qui fera date ».

Membre de l’Autre Cercle

Membre du conseil d’administration de NELFA

« les membres du NELFA qui y ont participé sont enchantés de la conférence de l'Autre Cercle . Merci à vous pour tout cela »

NELFA (European Network of Family Associations)

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