Press release: The Parliament debates the Declaration of the EU as an “LGBTIQ Freedom Zone”

Brussels, 10 March 2021

The European Parliament debates today the “Declaration of the EU as an LGBTIQ Freedom Zone”.[1] The joint motion for resolution was initiated by Renew Europe MEP and Intergroup Member, Pierre Karleskind (France), and was negotiated by MEPs that belong to the Intergroup. The resolution is scheduled for adoption in March 2021, two years after the first resolution from a county in Poland declaring itself to be against “LGBT ideology”.[2]

The text, which will be voted tomorrow, carries several recitals that contextualise the situation of LGBTIQ people in the European Union, addressing both legal and policy shortcomings for their protection against discrimination and violence. These point to which measures are needed to achieve equality. However, the resolution carries one single article that reads that the European Parliament “Hereby declares the European Union an ‘LGBTIQ Freedom Zone’”.

Malin Björk MEP (The Left), Vice-President of the LGBTI Intergroup, comments:

The values we defend, as enshrined in Article 2 TEU, include respect for human dignity, human rights and equality. Under our watch, this Union will fight for freedom and liberty for all, including those most marginalised and scapegoated. This resolution is a political signal to the anti-LGBTIQ actors in Europe that their acts of hate and discrimination are intolerable. But this resolution is also a sign to activists and human rights defenders: “We stand with you and we will fight these human rights deniers alongside you.”

Liesje Schreinemacher MEP (Renew Europe), Vice-President of the LGBTI Intergroup, concludes:

Of course, this resolution does not suddenly change the lived reality of LGBTIQ persons. What it does, though, is show that from Portugal to Bulgaria, from Cyprus to Finland, the Parliament will stand for the rights of LGBTIQ persons and will not forget that backsliding on these rights is legitimising LGBTIQ-phobia. This resolution recognises where we, as a Union, are lacking progress, but it also points at issues where it is up to the Member States to act. Without political commitment and strong will, we will not make it. So we also call on local, regional and national authorities to help us enact this resolution and help us ensuring that LGBTIQ people can genuinely be and feel free regardless of where they are in the EU.


[1] Text tabled, B9-0166/2021: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/B-9-2021-0166_EN.pdf.

[2] Świdnik County declaration (26 March 2019), “Position No. 1/2019 of the District Council in Świdnik  of March 26, 2019, on the suppression of the “LGBT” ideology by the community local government”, accessible at https://spswidnik.bip.lubelskie.pl/upload/pliki//0stanowisko.pdf.

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