European Commission withdraws guidelines "cancelling" Christmas

European Commissioner Helena Dalli. Photo: official Twitter page

The European Commissioner apologized for the guidelines on “inclusive gender-neutral language”.

The European Commission was forced to “take a step back” on the Guidelines on Inclusive Communication following a wave of criticism.

In October, European Equality Commissioner Helena Dalli unveiled a 30-page guide to using "a more gender-neutral and LGBT-friendly language". The document has the status of an internal instruction of the European Commission.

For the period of the Christmas holidays, the expression "holiday period" was supposed to be used. Instead of "gays" and "lesbians" they proposed "same-sex couples", and "man-made" and "ladies and gentlemen" were supposed to be replaced by "synthetic" and "colleagues", respectively.

The instruction attracted the attention of the Italian conservative publication “Il Giornale”. Further, a number of European right-wing politicians criticized the manual.

Dalli, who tweeted a photo of herself with the manual and a confession of pride in the document on October 26, apologized:

“My initiative to draft guidelines as an internal document for communication by Commission staff in their duties was intended to achieve an important aim: to illustrate the diversity of European culture and showcase the inclusive nature of the European Commission towards all walks of life and beliefs of European citizens.
However, the version of the guidelines published does not adequately serve this purpose. This is not a mature document and does not meet all Commission quality standards."

The European Parliament and the European Council have previously issued similar recommendations to the Commission, but they did not contain such specific examples of usage.

Earlier, the head of the European Commission said that there is no place for LGBT-free zones in the EU. And the Oxford Dictionary changed the concepts of "man" and "woman" in the framework of greater friendliness to LGBT people.

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