Union of Equality: LGBTIQ Equality Strategy 2020-2025

Information memo: Union of Equality: LGBTIQ Equality Strategy 2020-2025

Key points

The EESC:

  • welcomes and supports the courage of the European Commission in adopting the LGBTIQ Equality Strategy 2020-2025, which aims to reduce discrimination and ensure the safety and fundamental rights of LGTBI people throughout the European Union, through the adoption of legislative measures at European level, but also urging Member States to draw up and implement the action plans at national level that are mentioned in the strategy.

  • firmly believes that in order to be a successful strategy, the Commission must put in place a strong mechanism for implementing it and regularly monitoring its application, both horizontally and vertically. In this regard, the Commission must facilitate a broad dialogue between European and international institutions, Members States, civil society organisations, and social partners.

  • is convinced that in order to achieve its objectives, the LGBTIQ Equality Strategy must be correlated with other European strategies in order to have a cross-sectoral perspective, e.g. the Victims' Rights Strategy, the Gender Equality Strategy, the EU Anti-racism Action Plan, the Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the Strategy on the Rights of the Child.

  • One of the most pressing issues regarding discrimination against LGBTIQ people concerns discrimination in the workplace and in terms of access to the labour market. Thus, the Equal Treatment and Employment Directive (2000/78/CE) must also protect transgender, non-binary, intersex and queer people against discrimination in these areas. In addition, the EESC welcomes the Commission's desire to extend the applicability of the directive to areas other than employment, considering it an effective measure to combat discrimination against LGBTIQ people.

  • In order for LGBTIQ people to not face socio-economic deprivation and high rates of poverty and social exclusion, Members States must be encouraged to provide medical and social services, shelters, help programmes and safe places for LGBTIQ people who are victims of domestic violence, hate crimes and hate speech, and LGBTIQ youth who are left without family support, etc.

  • strongly believes that so-called conversion practices should be prohibited by all EU Members States, since they are practices that violate fundamental rights and have been classified as torture. The European Commission must support Member States to ban all forms of harmful practices, including medically unnecessary interventions on intersex people, and reform their legal gender laws to ensure that they meet the human rights standards of self-determination.

  • is asking the European Commission to provide funding for the training of professionals who interact with LGBTIQ people, as well as encourage the exchange of best practices between Members States.

  • Regarding the funding from the EU budget for the Member States, in our view, the European Commission must implement a strong mechanism for supervising the use of these funds by the Members States in accordance with the European principle of non-discrimination mentioned in Art. 2 TUE, as well as in full respect of fundamental rights as set out in the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

  • The European Commission must assume the role of guardian of the European Union's treaties and step up its efforts to ensure full implementation and application of relevant EU legislation and the case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union in the Members States, especially with regard to Directive 2004/38/EC, as well as asylum legislation.

  • The European Union must assume its role in helping to advance human rights globally, including the freedom and dignity of LGBTIQ people.