ILGA-Europe's welcomes the prominence of LGBT human rights issues in the European Commission's progress reports on accession and pre-accession countries

Published: November 10, 2010

On 9 November, 2010 the Commission issued its 2010 Progress Reports on Croatia, Iceland, the FYR of Macedonia, Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Kosovo*. The progress reports on Albania and Montenegro are replaced this year by the Commission’s Opinions on the readiness of the two countries to start accession negotiations. The documents highlight the progress made by accession and pre-accession countries towards the EU integration.

ILGA-Europe welcomes the way in which the human rights of LGBT people are raised in this year’s reports. The report on Croatia notes that LGBT people face threats and attacks with limited follow up by the authorities. The report on fry of Macedonia highlights that the newly adopted anti-discrimination law does not comply with the acquis  for omitting sexual orientation as a protected ground. Extensive references to the human rights violations of LGBT people, particularly trans people, were made in Turkey report. While both Albania and Montenegro introduced comprehensive anti-discrimination laws in 2010, the Commission highlighted the importance of providing protection against discrimination in practice and the existence of widespread discrimination against LGBT people in both countries. The Belgrade Pride was seen by the Commission as a step forward in promoting fundamental rights in Serbia. However, it was noted that more should be done to ensure that LGBT people are protected from discrimination. References to LGBT discrimination were also made in the reports on Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo.

ILGA-Europe provided written contributions to the 2010 Commission’s progress reports and also facilitated the participation of 10 activists from Croatia, FYR of Macedonia, Turkey, Albania, Montenegro and Serbia in consultations with the European Commission on the reports.

Lilit Poghosyan, ILGA-Europe’s Senior Programmes & Policy Officer, who leads ILGA-Europe’s work on the Western Balkans and Turkey, said:

“We welcome the way in which the human rights of LGBT people are raised in this year’s progress reports and encourage the Commission to continue asserting the principles of non-discrimination and equality in accession negotiations with the countries.

The inclusion of LGBT rights in the progress reports is to a very large part a result of documentation of human rights violations and active advocacy work by ILGA-Europe, its member and partner organisations.

We will continue our work to ensure that the Commission covers human rights issues of LGBT people in the future progress reports and incorporates them in partnership agreements with the countries.’’

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