LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

Exploring the Lisbon Treaty, September 2011

The Treaty of Lisbon entered into force on 1 December 2009.  As a result, the Charter of Fundamental Rights, initially proclaimed at the Nice European Council of December 2000, becomes  legally binding. In addition, the Treaty of Lisbon provides that the EU shall accede to the European Convention on Human Rights, the major human rights treaty opened for adoption within the framework of the Council of Europe. And the Treaty of Lisbon brings about significant changes in the decision-making procedures of the EU, as well as in the role of the non-discrimination provisions of the treaties. This paper seeks to take stock of these developments and of their significance for the protection and promotion of LGBTI rights in the EU, in particular with a view to highlighting the possibilities opened for non-governmental organisations seeking to advocate these rights.