This Monday, the Council (i.e. Ministers of the Member States), failed to reach agreement on a common response to the Commission’s “List of Actions to advance LGBTI equality“.
Nearly all Member States had expressed their support for the List of Actions, but a veto by the minister from Hungary prevented final agreement in the Council.
In December 2015, the Commission published a list of specific targeted actions aiming at combating LGBTI discrimination in the EU in 2016-19, following up on the demand by the European Parliament to establish a ‘Roadmap against Homophobia’, the so-called Lunacek-report.
The Commission’s text was welcomed by MEPs, but criticized for not going far enough.
Although Member States do not need to give their consent to the list of actions, the support by 27 Member States indicates strong political support for progress on LGBTI equality.
Ulrike Lunacek MEP, Co-President of the Intergroup on LGBTI Rights, reacted: “I strongly welcome the efforts by the Dutch Presidency to put this on the agenda and the attempt to reach unanimous Council Conclusions on the List of Actions.”
“Although it is disappointing that the Hungarian government has taken this as an opportunity to show itself from its most homophobic side, the broad agreement among all other Member States is really a promising sign of increased LGBTI acceptance across Europe.”
Daniele Viotti MEP, Co-President of the Intergroup on LGBTI Rights, continued: “The support by 27 Member States for EU action on LGBTI equality, should give the Commission, Parliament and Member States the necessary backing to continue working towards full equality for LGBTI people.”
“We cannot let one country halt all progress on LGBTI rights. Equality simply cannot wait any longer!”
Sophie in ‘t Veld MEP, Vice-President of the LGBTI Intergroup, added: “The Dutch Presidency has demonstrated a clear commitment to getting the rights of LGBTI people on the Council’s agenda. I call on them, and on other allies in the Council, to intensify their efforts in convincing Hungary to ensure a successful Dutch Presidency for LGBTI people.”
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