MEPs welcome new European LGBT survey

On Monday 2 April the EU Fundamental Rights Agency launched a vast survey into the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the European Union and Croatia. Members of the European Parliament have welcomed the initiative.

FRA LGBT surveyWith this new survey, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights will gather comparable data on the experience of LGBT people across the European Union, as well as its future Member State Croatia.

Since 2007, Members of the European Parliament have called on the agency to provide research and analyses on the fundamental rights of LGBT people in the EU. The Vienna-based agency first published analyses of the social and legal situation for LGBT people in 2008, and has since updated it in 2010.

This new research should provide Members of the European Parliament with comparable data in the fields of discrimination, hate crime and legal protection. Such information is needed to take informed legal and policy decisions in a variety of fields, including civil liberties, home affairs, health and employment policy, all of which are a competence of the European Union.

The data will also help two other key EU institutions, the European Commission and the Council of the European Union, to make relevant legislative proposals in the future.

Michael Cashman MEP, Co-president of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights, congratulated the Agency on this positive step: “The Fundamental Rights Agency has always done highly relevant work in the field of fundamental rights and non-discrimination, and I’m pleased they’ve taken on this important project. It will open our eyes, as well as the Commission’s and national governments’, on the real situation of LGBT people in the EU today.”

Ulrike Lunacek MEP, Co-president of the LGBT Intergroup, agreed: “The lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are seldom accurately represented in mainstream policy debates. I hope this research will bring to light the specific challenges they still face, including their fears and the threats they face in some parts of our societies.”

Survey results are expected in the second quarter of 2013.

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