The Commission announced the adoption of their first official LGBTQ equality strategy – how will this be felt in Member States which oppose LGBTQ rights?
Legal protection against discrimination is key to advancing LGBTQ equality. The Commission will undertake a stocktaking exercise, in particular in the area of employment. The report on the application of Employment Equality Directive will be published by 2022. Following up to the report the Commission will put forward any legislation, namely on strengthening the role of equality bodies. The Commission will also put forward a regulatory framework that will specifically address the risk of bias and discrimination inherent in artificial intelligence (AI) systems.
2. Ensuring safety
LGBTQ people disproportionately suffer from hate crime, hate speech and violence while the under-reporting of hate crimes remains a serious problem. To harmonise protection against anti-LGBTQ hate crime and hate speech, the Commission will present an initiative in 2021 to extend the list of ‘EU crimes’ to include hate crime and hate speech, including when targeted at LGBTQ people. In addition, the Commission will provide funding opportunities for initiatives that aim to combat hate crime, hate speech and violence against LGBTQ people.
3. Protecting rights of rainbow families
Due to differences in national legislations across Member States, family ties may not always be recognised when rainbow families cross the EU’s internal borders. The Commission will bring forward a legislative initiative on the mutual recognition of parenthood and explore possible measures to support the mutual recognition of same-gender partnership between Member States.
4. LGBTQ equality around the world
In various parts of the world, LGBTQ people experience serious rights violations and abuses. The EU promises to support actions for LGBTQ equality under the neighbourhood, development and international cooperation instrument (NDICI), the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) and the Asylum and Migration Fund.
Vice-President for Values and Transparency Vera Jourová said: “Everyone should feel free to be who they are – without fear or persecution. This is what Europe is about and this is what we stand for. This first strategy at EU level will reinforce our joint efforts to ensure that everyone is treated equally.”