LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

The European Commission’s Progress Reports 2012 on countries aiming to join the European Union

ILGA-Europe: “The European Commission needs to continue monitoring and including assessment of respect of the human righ ts of LGBT people in its annual Progress Reports and to provide technical and financial assistance for reforms in the area of human rights and non-discrimination particularly for strengthening civil society and equality bodies.”

On 10 October 2012, the European Commission issued its annual Enlargement Strategy and Progress Reports on EU accession and pre-accession countries.

Lilit Poghosyan, ILGA-Europe’s Senior Programmes and Policy Officer, said: “

“We are generally satisfied with the way most reports cover the human rights issues of LGBT people in the European Commission’s Progress reports. We encourage the Commission to continue to stress that fundamental rights are for all and should be protected in reference to LGBT people.”

“While the legal protections and systems of addressing discrimination according to the EU standards are paramount, the Commission also needs to encourage the national governments to allocate sufficient resources towards awareness campaigns and independent and efficient operation of equality bodies.”

The Commission compliments Albania and Montenegro on moderate progress made in the field of anti-discrimination policies highlighting that more should be done to strengthen the capacities of equality bodies and to address discrimination cases in both countries. The Commission reiterates that anti-discrimination laws in Turkey and FYR Macedonia - which exclude the ground of sexual orientation - do not comply with EU standards. The Commission also mentions about the continuous discrimination, intimidation and violence LGBT people face in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey. The Commission’s report on Serbia referred to the ban of Belgrade Pride 2011 and 2012 and encouraged the Serbian government to take proactive approach towards better social inclusion of LGBT population. Regrettably, the report on Kosovo* does not refer to the human rights situation of LGBTI people where despite existing legal protection LGBTI people remain underground and in fear of discrimination and violence.

ILGA-Europe participated in the consultations on the reports in May 2012 and submitted - together with national LGBTI organisations - reports on human rights situation of LGBTI people in the mentioned countries. We have also organised a study visit and ensured the participation of LGBTI human rights defenders to the consultations on Progress Reports.

European Commission’s Progress Reports 2012