European Parliament: Neighbourhood Policy to address LGBTI rights

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Today the European Parliament voted to put human rights, including of LGBTI people, at the heart of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP).

European Neighbourhood PolicyThe Parliament emphasises  the “need to focus on strengthening and consolidating … respect for diversity and the rights of minorities, including … the rights of LGBTI persons.” (see par. 22)

The ENP organises relationships between the EU and its closest Eastern and Southern neighbours*, and has a budget of more than €15 billion (2014-2020), part of which goes to civil society.

The policy was set up after the 2004 enlargement round, with the objective of creating a “ring of friends” around the European Union.

Ulrike Lunacek MEP, Co-President of the Intergroup on LGBTI Rights, reacted: “Too many people in our neighbourhood face discrimination and violence for their sexual orientation or gender identity.  In some cases this is endorsed by laws criminalising homosexuality, or supported by homophobic politicians.”

“I am glad the parliament by this report has ensured that this will be taken up by the Neighbourhood Policy.”

Tanja Fajon MEP, Vice-President of the Intergroup on LGBTI Rights, continued: “This report recognises the need to improve the situation for LGBTI people in our neighbourhood.”

“It gives the European Commission and all EU delegations in the ENP countries the mandate to tackle discrimination and work with civil society to change the situation for the better.”

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* Participating countries are Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Moldova, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia and Ukraine.

Image credit: © Bertelsmann Stiftung


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