The European Union has reaffirmed that countries wanting to join must provide genuine protections for their GLBT citizens.
In accepting reports on membership bids by Croatia, Macedonia and Turkey, the European Parliament reminded all three that progress on GLBT issues was a non-negotiable condition of entry.
Croatia was singled out for banning a gay pride event in Zagreb last year, while Macedonia was criticised for explicitly leaving out GLBT people of new anti-discrimination laws.
The progress report on Turkey criticised its penal code for retaining ‘public morality’ laws which have been used by authorities to harass GLBT people and organisations despite homosexuality not being a crime in the country.
“We have reaffirmed that anti-discrimination standards must apply in candidate countries, and [the] Commissioner for Enlargement has assured us of his support on this issue,” Austrian Greens EU MP, and co-president of its Intergroup on LGBT rights, Ulrike Lunacek told the European Parliament.
“We count on the Commission’s work in this area to make sure fundamental rights are respected in the European region.”
However, anti-gay forces in Europe recently had some success in deferring gay rights motions in the continent-wide Council of Europe grouping of 47 nations.
When two resolutions calling on members to act on GLBT discrimination were put forward, politicians from Russia and Italy proposed 70 hostile amendments in a time-wasting exercise that will delay a vote on the resolutions until April.