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Workshop: Tell us how the EU can ensure LGBTIQ rights across the Union!
Your opinion and experience count when the European Parliament and the DEO invite you to a workshop on LGBTIQ rights in the EU. Together with MEPs, organisations and interested citizens, you can have your say on the EU's new LGBTIQ strategy.
Protection of sexual minorities is enshrined in EU law, yet the situation of LGBTIQ people in the EU is far from rosy. 76% of European citizens believe that LGBTIQ people should have the same rights as heterosexuals. But this masks big differences between EU countries. In Sweden and the Netherlands, 98% of citizens support equal rights for all regardless of sexual orientation, while in Slovakia and Slovenia it is only 31% and 38% respectively. National legislation in a number of EU countries has also shown that LGBTIQ people continue to face strong opposition. In Poland, a number of regions and municipalities have symbolically declared themselves "free of LGBT ideology", while Hungary recently passed a law making it illegal to educate young people about different sexualities and gender identities.
So what do we do? How do we ensure that LGBTIQ people in the EU are treated like all other citizens? We are ready to receive your input. Political analyst Vibe Termansen (DEO) will introduce and steer the battle as MEPs Kira Peter-Hansen (SF/Greens) and Rasmus Andresen (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen) host a political workshop.
Kvægtorvet, DK-1713 København V, Denmark
The workshop was structured around the four pillars of the European Commission’s LGBTIQ Equality Strategy 2020-2025, presented in November 2020.
The participants were briefed by the moderator and two MEPs on the LGBTIQ Strategy. Subsequently they were divided into four groups, each of which was asked to contribute with ideas on how to improve the rights of LGBTIQ people under each of these pillars - inclusion, security, equal treatment, and external relations.
The following ideas were collected during the workshop:
- The EU should use the right to free movement as leverage to further LGBTIQ rights in the EU.
- The EU should work long-term on changing the anti-LGBTIQ culture in the most LGBTIQ-averse EU countries, but also look on legislation to introduce changes faster.
- The EU should launch information campaigns. It is important that these campaignsare developed by civil society organisations (e.g. ILGA) so that they are not seen as political.
- Cooperation and dialogue with religious leaders on LGBTIQ issues as a way to overcome prejudices.
- Inclusion of the status of LGBTIQ rights in the yearly country reports compiled by the European Commission. This information can be used proactively e.g. when distributing EU funds.
- Educational policy: EU financial support for civil society organisations who work on informing youth about LGBTIQ issues.
- Make it easier for trans persons to use their right to free movement in practice. Today trans persons face many obstacles when they move to other EU countries - delays in treatment, being thrown off waiting lists etc. It is a problem that trans persons are not mentioned specifically in EU legislation.
- There should be much more focus on the rights and specific challenges faced by LGBTIQ people in European asylum and migration policy.
- The EU should put pressure on countries with discriminatory legislation against LGBTIQ people, e.g. when distributing development aid or negotiating trade agreements.
- The EU should work on creating awareness about the situation for LGBTIQ people in countries where they face persecution.
- It should be a right to get asylum for LGBTIQ people from countries where they face persecution because of their status as LGBTIQ.
- The EU should support NGOs and grass-root movements in third countries with discriminatory legislation against LGBTIQ people.
DEO - Demokratii Europa Oplysningsforbundet, SF/Greens, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen
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