Luxembourg joined fourteen European Union (EU) Member States, on Monday, in signing a declaration on the protection of LGBTIQ persons in the EU. In the declaration, the ministers expressed the EU’s fundamental values, including equality which prohibits discrimination based on racial or ethnic origin, sex, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation.
The Ministers of the Member States signed the declaration making several commitments:
– to “reinforce their political dialogue in order to identify, in close connection with the European Commission, all the means that can be activated in case of infringement of LGBTIQ persons’ rights”. Through this strengthened dialogue, they will “assess extending the range of instruments of the European Union”, in accordance with the respective competences of the EU and the Member States. They noted in particular the need to “stand up against all forms of violence and discrimination, as well as hate speech online and offline”, as well as increasing awareness of the daily suffering of many LGBTIQ persons and supporting civil society organisations and human rights defenders fighting for equality.
– to jointly develop a litigation strategy to support the European institutions in court cases where the protection of EU values in general and LGBTIQ persons in particular is at stake.
-concerning the EU budget, it was noted, “the EU cannot support projects that violate its founding principles”. They added that specific financial instruments, such as the regulation establishing the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values programme “must contribute to the active promotion of the rights and values enshrined in the Treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights”.
– everything possible must be done at the national level to protect EU values in general and LGBTIQ persons in particular and to continue to “strengthen institutions and public policies focused on preventing, investigating and punishing discrimination and violence against LGBTIQ persons”.
In concluding the signatories stated that the “EU can only be a community of values if its Member States are vigilant and determined in ensuring that no one is left behind”.
Signatories of the declaration were:
Luxembourg, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden adopted this declaration during a meeting of EU Ministers for European affairs in Portugal.
Meanwhile, Luxembourg ranked third in an LGBTI rights ranking which assessed countries in Europe. Advocacy group Ilga-Europe published the latest edition of the Rainbow Europe map, marking the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. The ranking unfortunately outlined that the process of ensuring LGBTI rights has stagnated in the last 12 months. That is true for Luxembourg as well as other countries.