LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

EU fails to adopt LGBTI equality strategy, but proposes list of actions

On 7 December 2015, Věra Jourová, EU’s Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, presented the European Commission’s List of Actions to advance LGBTI equality.

ILGA-Europe is disappointed that the EU failed to deliver an ambitious LGBTI equality strategy. ILGA-Europe is committed to working with the European Commission to ensure effective implementation of the list of actions in a way that will have a positive impact on the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people across the EU and beyond. But the actions proposed remain very general and lack ambition. 


Evelyne Paradis, Executive Director of ILGA-Europe said:

“Whilst we always welcome new actions taken by EU institutions towards LGBTI equality, we have to express our disappointment with the document which falls short of proposing serious new actions to tackle the ongoing discrimination, violence and stigmatization that LGBTI people continue to face on a daily basis. Commissioner Jourová and Vice-President Timmermans keep reminding us that the European Union should be about actions, and not about mere words put on paper in a strategy. We could not agree more. This is why ILGA-Europe will continue to advocate for a full-fledged strategy which equips the EU with effective tools to address homophobia and transphobia in a strategic, systematic and holistic manner.”


Beyond implementation of the actions, ILGA-Europe looks forward to working with the Commission on gaps in the List of Actions. The List of Actions does not mention some major priorities for the European LGBTI movement, such as the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in the EU law dealing with hate crime, despite the fact that the Fundamental Rights Agency Survey clearly demonstrated the high prevalence of violence targeting LGBTI people in the EU.(1) ILGA-Europe hopes that this issue can be included in a near future. ILGA-Europe also calls on the Commission to provide a clear framework to assess and review progress, monitoring and evaluation. We will also welcome greater clarity on what the Commission will do to try to ensure pending legislation will be adopted by EU Member States.


“This List of Actions is a missed opportunity, not only to demonstrate that the EU cares about LGBTI people living in Europe, but that the Union values equality and human rights as much as it does the economic development of the Union. We cannot but notice the hierarchy within EU policies when on the same day the Commission presents a limited work plan on LGBTI equality, it announces an ambitious strategy for the aviation sector. This is why we will continue to be strong in our call to the EU to show true leadership in the fight for equality for LGBTI people” adds Evelyne Paradis.

  1. This Survey was published by the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency in May 2013.