• Deystvie

The Ministry of Interior limits the European right to free movement for LGBT families in Bulgaria



The Migration Directorate of the Ministry of Interior (MoI) appealed a historical ruling before the Supreme Administrative Court, in which the Sofia City Administrative Court ruled in favor of a homosexual couple’s right to reside in Bulgaria. With that action, the Migration Directorate of the MoI interfered with the ruling coming into effect, claiming that it contradicts the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria, which does not permit marriages between people of the same sex.




The current position taken by the Migration Directorate is a puzzling one, because in 2017 a residence permit was granted to Cristina Palma, however, at the beginning of 2018 when it was to be renewed, the permit was denied. ‘From one point of view this is a classic example of homophobia disguised as authority, from another – it is a populist use of political power’, shared Veneta Limberova, chairwoman of Youth LGBT Organization Deystvie.


‘We are disappointed by the current political stance of the Migration Directorate, which is interfering with the peaceful settling down of our family in Bulgaria’, claim Cristina and Mariama. ‘At the same time, we believe that our right to free movement within the European Union will be taken into consideration in the Supreme Court, which is the established case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union, as it was made apparent by the recent ruling in the Coman case.’


The right to free movement in the EU is a fundamental human right, guaranteed to all citizens of the Union, which many Bulgarian citizens and their families make use of. Suppressing it is wrong and there is no doubt that it will be defended in court.



‘This unfounded appeal which we are witnessing from the Migration Directorate of the MoI endangers the right to a dignified family life as well as an EU citizen’s spouse’s right to work,’ claims Denitsa Lyubenova, who is defending Cristina Palma in court. ‘All of this will lead to additional claims for pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage caused by the Migration Directorate of the MoI which will be weighing down the state budget’ adds Att. Lyubenova.



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