LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

Extensive coverage of LGBTI issues in the 2014 progress reports and EU Enlargement Strategy

The European Commission has launched its yearly progress reports on the candidate countries to the European Union. As in previous year, the Commission has extensively covered LGBTI rights in its progress reports and made vigorous demands to the countries in the Strategy. ILGA-Europe is content that the European Commission is consistently taking onboard LGBTI issues within the EU Enlargement process.

2014-2015 Enlargement Strategy goes way beyond narrow legalistic approach to equality asking candidate states not only to introduce anti-discrimination and hate crime legislation inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity, but also to demonstrate ‘strong leadership to bring about a change in the frequently hostile societal attitudes towards LGBTI’.

It reinstates last year’s zero-tolerance approach to hate speech, violence and intimidation, emphasising that ‘religious or cultural values cannot be invoked to justify any form of discrimination’.

It further calls on candidate states to train law enforcement, ombudsman institutions, judges and media professionals, to take measures to counter stereotypes and misinformation, including in the education system and to protect freedom of assembly and expression, including through appropriate handling of pride parades.

As committed in last year’s strategy, the European Commission- together with the European Parliament and Italian Presidency- is organising a high level conference on human rights and non-discrimination with emphasis on LGBTI in November this year. ILGA-Europe trusts that the conference will have an operational outcome, resulting in clear commitments by legislative and executive branches of the governments of the Western Balkans and Turkey to a comprehensive LGBTI strategy.

Find attached relevant excerpts from the Strategy and Country Reports.

Find here 2014-2015 Enlargement Strategy and 2014 Progress Reports