The President of the Council, Mr Lodewijk Asscher, Netherlands' vice Prime Minister and Minister for Social Affairs and Employment, declared "European cooperation is essential in the fight against global homophobia and to improve women's rights. It is important that Europe shows where it stands. Gay rights and women's rights are human rights, without limits. Everyone has the right to be who you want to be, regardless of background or origin. It is very important that we now have a common European vision and goal that ensures collective action against countries and organizations that infringe gender equality, the rights of women, gay men, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender and intersex persons."