Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU and European Commission to co-host high level conference on LGBTIQ people’s equal rights
On 12 April, participants from throughout the EU will gather to jointly identify and share experiences from their work promoting LGBTIQ people’s rights and opportunities. It will also serve as a springboard for continued work on the EU strategy for LGBTIQ people’s equal rights.
In the EU, equal treatment and non-discrimination are fundamental rights. Unfortunately, LGBTIQ people are subjected to discrimination, violence and threats throughout the EU. The European Commission, European Parliament and Council of the EU – together with the Member States – have a joint responsibility to safeguard fundamental rights and ensure equal treatment and equality for all.
The aim of the conference is to highlight what has been done in the first half of the EU strategy for the rights of LGBTIQ people, which applies from 2020–2025. At the same time, it will provide an opportunity to share good examples and identify where there is room for improvement to make the work more effective by 2025.
“By gathering experts with different backgrounds and experiences working on these issues, we want to join forces to strengthen efforts for LGBTIQ people’s equal rights and opportunities. I hope the discussions advance this work,” says Minister for Gender Equality and Working Life Paulina Brandberg.
“Surveys from the Fundamental Rights Agency show that we still see recurring problems preventing LGBTIQ people from enjoying their fundamental rights. As a Union, we need to confirm to all LGBTIQ people that we cannot accept this. Over the last three years, we have been implementing the first ever LGBTIQ Strategy” says EU Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli.
Ms Brandberg will take part in the conference along with Ms Dalli, who will be the keynote speaker. Spanish Secretary of State for Equality and against Gender Violence, Ángela Rodrígue will conclude the conference, providing a glimpse of the upcoming Spanish Presidency which takes over from Sweden in July. Members of the European Parliament and civil society organisations will also take part in several panel discussions.
Halfway through the strategy period
In November 2020, the European Commission adopted the first EU strategy for the rights of LGBTIQ people, for the period of 2020–2025. Its aim is to bring all Member States and other actors together to combat discrimination against LGBTIQ people. The primary focus of the conference will be to show what has been done in the first half of the strategy period. At the same time, it will provide an opportunity to share good examples and identify where there is room for improvement to make the strategy more effective by 2025.