Why does it matter with European parties?

Last week on 19 March, we published the update for March month on our Come Out campaign. 163 candidates for the European elections had already signed ILGA-Europe’s Come Out Pledge. Since then 26 new signatures have been added - just within a week. Today we can count 189 supporters. ILGA-Europe looked in details into the European parties they represent.

Supportive candidates for the European elections come from as many as 22 countries out 28. This is remarkable, given that different EU Member States, the political parties have not finalised the nomination process of their candidates.

The leading countries are those where this nomination process is already well advance: the UK, Sweden, Germany, Finland, Austria. We note the good performance of Sweden and Finland, where the number of supportive candidates has already reached the total number of MEPs to be elected. But be careful! This does not mean that the supportive candidates will be the elected MEPs.

Candidates from all main European political parties

ILGA-Europe is also very satisfied with the fact that the 189 supporters of the Come Out Pledge represent all the main European political families. At the moment, the Party of European Socialists is leading, with more than one third of the subscribed candidates, coming from 14 Member States. The European Green Party and the ALDE Party follow, with significant numbers as well.

Candidates per European party

None

70

48

27

13

9

9

6

3

2

1

1

 

Of course, these figures remain far from definitive: they may change considerably once candidates nomination processes will be completed in all countries.

Why does it matter with European parties?

European political parties are organisation based on political values and promoting a political programme at the level of the European Union. European parties are composed of national parties as members. Some of them also have individual members. They are represented in several Member States of the European Union (the largest ones are represented in all Member States). As mentioned in the Treaties, "political parties at European level are important as a factor for integration within the Union. They contribute to forming a European awareness and to expressing the political will of the citizens of the Union."

ILGA-Europe has read and screened the election manifestos (programmes) of the parties below. You can check on the European parties’ websites the list of their member parties in your respective countries.

Among the values and commitments made by the parties, we have identified for you those which match the ILGA-Europe Come Out Pledge. Here are some results of this screening:

  • Most of the European parties express their commitment to human rights as founding values of the EU. Some of them are more specific and propose practical redress mechanisms to react to human rights violations (European Green Party, ALDE Party, Party of European Socialists).
  • Although no manifesto refers to the adoption of an EU LGBT Equality Roadmap, party leaders of the ALDE Party, the Party of European Socialists, the European Green Party and the European Left Party have indicated that this would be part of their priorities in the negotiations ahead of the investiture of the next European Commission.
  • Some parties use strong language to commit to the enforcement of reinforced EU anti-discrimination policies (ALDE Party, European Democratic Party, European Green Party, Party of European Socialists).
  • The Greens, the Socialists and the European Democratic Party also make commitments to tackle homophobic violence.
  • On EU policies and LGBT families, little is said. Only the Socialists use specific language on mutual recognition: they commit to the respect of freedom of movement as part of the rights of EU “citizens and their legally recognised families”.
  • On trans rights, the manifestos are not very specific. However, the Greens’ manifesto mentions gender identity in the discrimination grounds to be tackles. The Socialists’ manifesto includes transphobia in the forms of violence to be fought.
  • Most of the European parties mention commitments to promote human rights in the EU’s external policies. This applies to the ALDE Party, the European Green Party, the European Democratic Party, the Party of European Socialists, the European People’s Party and the European Free Alliance. However, only some of them mention explicitly anti-discrimination and the protection of human rights defenders.
  • Finally, only one party distinguished itself by explicitly promoting campaign themes that conflict with LGBTI equality: the European Alliance for Freedom backs “traditional family policies” and wants to cancel existing EU asylum policies – which in the last years have made possible the recognition of sexual orientation and gender identity related persecution by European asylum systems.

For you to find all the details, we have collected all the relevant parties manifestos quotes in the table below!

*Note that the European Left Party, AECR, European Pirate Party and EACL have not published their Manifestos yet.

ILGA-Europe priorities (Coming Out Pledge)

*click on logo for more information, and to see what national parties are members.

*current MEPs from EDP sit in the ALDE Group. The EDP has endorsed the ALDE Party's presidential candidate for the European Commission, Guy Verhofstadt. Click on logo for more information, and to see what national parties are members.

*click on logo for more information, and to see what national parties are members.

Adopt an EU Roadmap on LGBTI equality

     

Enforce human rights within the EU

- “We see individual emancipation, freedom and liberties for all as very much under threat. Think of […] the infringement of human rights of minorities like […] the LGBT+ community […].”

- “Where citizens are being deprived of their rights in an EU member state without remedy from that country’s judicial system they should have the possibility of taking collective legal action in the EU’s Court of Justice.”

- “Greens have been pioneers in demanding the creation of a Copenhagen Commission in accordance with the EU treaties and the European Convention on Human Rights to make sure that the democratic demands that are put upon candidate countries when applying for EU accession are not followed by backsliding into authoritarianism and cronyism once a member state has joined the EU.”

 

- “Civil liberties and freedom are the foundations of a liberal Europe […].”

- “We will promote human rights and protect the vulnerable both within the EU and beyond our borders.”

- “Our ability to promote the rule of law and individual liberties effectively abroad depends on our ability to guarantee the same rights for those here at home.”

- “We will work for the creation of a mechanism to monitor violations of fundamental rights and civil liberties in the EU and enforce sanctions […] free from political interference.”

Complete the EU anti-discrimination law

- “We must not tolerate discrimination based on any ground, such as sex, […] sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other pretext.”

- “Greens will push for effective anti-discrimination policies to overcome such injustice [discrimination] and are long-standing advocates of the extension of the anti-discrimination directives to become a fully-fledged Equalities Directive.”

- “It is essential to fight against all forms of discrimination. […] EU must combat discriminations as well as violence related to sexual orientation and sexual violence of every kind.”

- “We will continue to fight for full protection of all human rights and we will remain at the forefront of fighting discrimination of any kind.”

Combat homophobic and transphobic violence

- “[…] the EU should adopt a more comprehensive policy approach against gender-based violence, including EU legislation in the form of a directive […].”

- “It is essential to fight against all forms of discrimination. […] EU must combat discriminations as well as violence related to sexual orientation and sexual violence of every kind.”

 

Promote an inclusive definition of family in EU policies

   

- “We will reinforce the single market […], while further facilitating the free movement of services and workers.”

Take a lead in protecting trans rights

     

Take action against school bullying

     

Tackle discrimination and inequalities in health

     

Ensure effective protection for LGBTI asylum seekers

     

Make the EU the world champion of equality for LGBTI people

- “The EU institutions should mainstream human rights in their external policies, including trade.”

- “This includes […] subordinating trade rules to human rights […].”

- “The EU must become more efficient, more vocal in the defence of the rule of law, freedom and human rights […] outside its borders.”

- “The EU should work with civil society, granting asylum and support to defenders of freedom and democracy […].”

- “External action must be the intrinsic factor in promoting European values such as respect for human rights […].”

- “We will promote human rights and protect the vulnerable both within the EU and beyond our borders.”

- “Our ability to promote the rule of law and individual liberties effectively abroad depends on our ability to guarantee the same rights for those here at home.”

- “We strongly support the new emphasis on human rights in the EU foreign policy.”

****

ILGA-Europe priorities (Coming Out Pledge)

*click on logo for more information, and to see what national parties are members.

*click on logo for more information, and to see what national parties are members.

*Current EFA MEPs sit in the joint Greens/EFA parliamentary group in the European Parliament. Click on logo for more information, and to see what national parties are members.

Adopt an EU Roadmap on LGBTI equality

     

Enforce human rights within the EU

- “The principle of equality must be at the heart of what it means to be a European citizen. We all benefit from living in a more equal society.”

- “European citizens, civil society, and social actors must have full democratic participation and control in European Union decisions.”

- “We will put in place effective European responses to breaches of fundamental rights, democracy and the rule of law.”

 

- “EFA shares the democratic values that underpin membership in the European Union: human rights, respect for democracy and its foundations, gender equality […].”

Complete the EU anti-discrimination law

- “We will insist on strong rules […] on the protection of workers’ rights […]; on reinforcing […] anti-discrimination legislation […].”

- “We stand for the values of equality and of non-discrimination […]”.

- “We will […] ensure that no person is denied a job, a position, a future or any other fundamental rights because of […] sexual orientation, identity, […], gender […] or any form of discrimination.”

   

Combat homophobic and transphobic violence

- “We will be relentless in our fight against all forms of racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and intolerance.”

- “Against rising extremism, we will fight for a Europe that respects everybody’s rights and obligations, not one that is based on prejudice, hate and division.”

   

Promote an inclusive definition of family in EU policies

- “Freedom of movement is a right and a founding principle of the EU. The rights of citizens and their legally recognised families must be respected […].

- “It is necessary to strengthen the position of family in Europe and to preserve traditional family policies […].”

 

Take a lead in protecting trans rights

     

Take action against school bullying

     

Tackle discrimination and inequalities in health

     

Ensure effective protection for LGBTI asylum seekers

 

- “Defending the right for each Member State to shape and implement its own asylum and immigration policies […]”

*This questions the existence of the current EU legislation which was instrumental in ensuring that sexual orientation and gender identity are recognised as reasons for persecution.

 

Make the EU the world champion of equality for LGBTI people

- “The European Union must carry the universal principles of democracy, peace and respect for human rights […]. Europe must be a global player. […] Europe combines defence, development, trade and diplomacy efforts to maximise the positive effects of its foreign policy.”

- “We must support the people struggling for democracy, social justice, non-discrimination and freedom […] everywhere in the world.”

 

- “The international vocation of the EU as a player which acts on the basis of the values of democracy, peace, solidarity and respect for diversity has to be clarified and strengthened.”

***

ILGA-Europe priorities (Coming Out Pledge)

*click on logo for more information, and to see what national parties are members.

*click on logo for more information, and to see what national parties are members.

Adopt an EU Roadmap on LGBTI equality

     

Enforce human rights within the EU

- “The people of the European Union value individual freedoms, and democratic rights. Europeans need to work together to build on these shared values.”

- “Our goal is to enforce the fundamental rights of all Europeans, men and women, by universal access to these rights […]. Their goal is human emancipation […].”

- “Budgets must be turned towards solidarity […]. They should aim to reduce social, regional and gender inequalities.”

- “We want to create real power of citizens’ involvement. This could start […] by real consideration of proposals from NGOs.”

 

Complete the EU anti-discrimination law

 

- “In many countries in Europe, LGBT people are being physically persecuted, suffering from bullying in the workplace or school, denied medical treatments, with the complacency of the state authorities. We stand for equality of rights, prevention/sanctions against any kind of discrimination.”

 

Combat homophobic and transphobic violence

 

- “In many countries in Europe, LGBT people are being physically persecuted, suffering from bullying in the workplace or school, denied medical treatments, with the complacency of the state authorities. We stand for equality of rights, prevention/sanctions against any kind of discrimination.”

 

Promote an inclusive definition of family in EU policies

 

- “LGBT people are being targeted under the premise of conservative discourses about health, “normal” family, heteronormative and conservative models. […] We stand for equality of rights […].

 

Take a lead in protecting trans rights

     

Take action against school bullying

 

- “A true co-education based on non-sexist or male-centred values, challenging gender stereotypes.”

- “In many countries in Europe, LGBT people are being physically persecuted, suffering from bullying in the workplace or school, denied medical treatments, with the complacency of the state authorities. We stand for equality of rights, prevention/sanctions against any kind of discrimination.”

 

Tackle discrimination and inequalities in health

 

- ““LGBT people are being targeted under the premise of conservative discourses about health […]. In many countries in Europe, LGBT people are being physically persecuted, suffering from bullying in the workplace or school, denied medical treatments, with the complacency of the state authorities. We stand for equality of rights, prevention/sanctions against any kind of discrimination.”

 

Ensure effective protection for LGBTI asylum seekers

     

Make the EU the world champion of equality for LGBTI people

- “EPP will work to create a prosperous, democratic and stable neighbourhood.”

   
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