LGBTI rights included in European Neighbourhood Policy

In a major boost to global LGBTI rights, the European Parliament today (Thursday) voted to emphasise the rights of minorities in the European Neighbourhood Policy. 

The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) is how the EU works with its southern and eastern neighbours, and is a key part of the EU’s foreign policy. Today’s report on the review of the ENP highlights the need to “focus on strengthening and consolidating ... respect for diversity and the rights of minorities, including ... the rights of LGBTI persons".

Alyn Smith MEP and Trustee of LGBT Youth, said: 

“This is superb news and shows how the EU can be powerful force on the world stage. 

“Partner countries agree with the EU on an ENP action plan to demonstrate their commitment to democracy, human rights, sustainable development, and so on, and the EY helps them to achieve these objectives. 

“In a world where some countries make homophobia an active part of their domestic policy, I’m pleased to see Europe using the full clout of its economic power to counter these attitudes.”

Ulrike Lunacek MEP, Co-President of the Intergroup on LGBTI rights, added:

“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 criminialising homosexuality, or supported by homophobic politicians."