In order to ensure an accurate representation of the developments relating to the human rights of LGBTI people ILGA-Europe and ERA, together with our member organisations in EU accession countries, have compiled this submission to the Progress Reports of the European Commission.

This report reflects developments in the recognition and respect for the human rights of LGBTI people in each accession country during the period from January through December 2019. It is intended to assist the European Commission in assessing the progress made en route to EU accession in each country to date. In addition to outlining key developments and challenges on the road to LGBTI equality, the report also highlights gaps in legislation and policy for the promotion and protection of the human rights of LGBTI people, and the priorities which authorities in each country should tackle in the coming year, as identified by LGBTI activists in the respective countries.
We hope that this input will be useful in the process of assessing the progress of each country to date, and in identifying key priorities in the coming year.

We also hope that this report will be used as guidance by the EU officials, MEPs and EU representatives in the accession countries throughout the year, when referring to rights of LGBTI persons in the accession countries and the much needed further improvement of their position in society and within legal and policy frameworks.

The EU accession process has been, and continues to be, a driving force for change in the recognition of the human rights of LGBTI people throughout the region. Year on year the human rights of LGBTI people continue to feature notably in the reports, assessing progress to date and setting out recommendations for the authorities to implement in the future. In order to ensure this implementation, we deem it necessary to extend this reporting process so that it includes mechanisms for the follow-up of the recommendations to national governments, and for reporting back to civil society on how data published in the reports are used in this regard throughout the year. In this way we can ensure that the reports reach their full potential when it comes to securing social and legal change for the rights of LGBTI people in the region.