BRUSSELS, BELGIUM – The European Union’s executive body has called for a national respect for LGBT rights—reflected in laws and public policies—as a requirement for membership eligibility. The European Commission’s “note” cited the 1993 Copenhagen criteria for EU entry, and Article 2 of the European Union Treaty, which both prohibit discrimination against “minorities.”
It also noted that Articles 10 and 19 of the EU Treaty, and Article 21 of the European Charter on Fundamental Rights, expressly prohibit discrimination on the basis of “sexual orientation.” “Rights of LGBT people thus form an integral part of both the Copenhagen political criteria for accession, and the EU legal framework on combating discrimination.
They are closely monitored by the EU commission, which reports annually on the progress made by enlargement countries with regard to the situation of the LGBT community,” it read.
“Accession of a country will not be possible if certain [LGBT] rights are not put into law and into practice,” said Ulrike Lunacek, an openly-gay Austrian Member of the European Parliament (MEP).
“Non-discrimination in the field of employment, for instance, has become part of ” EU law, she added.