European Parliament calls on Croatia to adopt national action plan for LGBT rights

Today the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the accession of Croatia to the European Union. Among other requirements, the text calls on the future Member State to combat homophobia and prevent homophobic violence. The Parliament’s call follows this year’s Pride march in Split, which was subject to violent attacks.

Croatian flagIn the text adopted today, the European Parliament says it “is deeply concerned by the violence against participants in the LGBT pride march in Split on 11 June 2011 and the inability of the Croatian authorities to protect the participants”.

Furthermore, the Parliament “urges the Croatian authorities fully to investigate and prosecute the crimes committed and to develop strategies for preventing similar incidents in the future”, and “calls on the Croatian authorities quickly to adopt and implement an action plan against homophobia”.

Ulrike Lunacek MEP, Co President of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights, commented: “The European Parliament has consistently called for the protection of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Europe, including in the Western Balkans. The work of some local and national authorities in Croatia is slowly leading to a better situation for everyone, but more is needed to ensure LGBT people can live free from fear and discrimination in South-Eastern Europe.”

Marije Cornelissen, a Dutch MEP member of the LGBT Intergroup and author of the paragraph on LGBT rights, said after the votes: “Croatia will be welcome in the European Union in 2013, but until then—and once it has become a Member State—it will need to pay close attention to the rights of minorities.”

Ms Cornelissen further added: “During Split Pride earlier this year, local authorities were unable to protect me and other participants from violent demonstrators. I look forward to the day when Croatia, with the help of other European countries including the Netherlands, will adopt an action plan against homophobia and transphobia.”

Croatia is due to become the 28th Member State of the European Union in July 2013.

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