20/11/2009 | Writer: KAOS GL

November 5, 2009
Pink Paper

Gay rights are a prominent topic in the European Commission's 14 October progress reports on the seven countries that are planning to join the European Union: Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Serbia and Kosovo.

The reports recommend that the nations adopt GLBT antidiscrimination laws and policies that meet EU requirements and, in the two nations that have passed such laws -- Croatia and Serbia -- that GLBT people be protected against discrimination "in practice." The commission was particularly critical of Serbia, where the Belgrade gay pride parade was canceled Sept. 19 after the prime minister told organizers that police could not protect marchers from violent anti-gay hooligans who planned to attack the event.

The commission also criticized Turkey for violating gay activists' rights to freedom of expression and association.

"The commission's progress reports are one of the most important tools at hand for the EU in influencing the human rights situation in candidate and potential candidate countries," said Lilit Poghosyan, programs and policy officer for the European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (aka ILGA-Europe).

"The gradually wider and more self-evident inclusion of LGBT human rights in the commission's monitoring system and in the progress reports shows that gay rights are recognized within the European Union and that it is expected and demanded of the future members that they comply with the European values (...)

Original Link of this News Article: "Euro Commission tells EU applicants to respect gay rights"

Tags: human rights