EC report criticises EU applicants Turkey, Kosovo and Serbia on LGBT rights

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A European Commission report detailing the nature of LGBT rights in several countries looking to join the European Union has criticised Macedonia, Montenegro and Turkey.

The reports show that LGBT people continue to face discrimination, threats and violence throughout south-eastern European and Turkey.

Widespread hate crime against LGBT people were noted in Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo.

Serbia has been criticised for continuously banning LGBT pride events.

Turkey is also singled out for high rates of hate crime, discriminatory practices in the military, censoring LGBT websites, and for taking out references to discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity from a draft anti-discrimination bill. Positive developments were noted in Serbia and Montenegro, where anti-discrimination strategies were adopted.

Both Serbia and Albania have implemented hate crime legislation.

Austrian MEP Ulrike Lunacek, co-president of the Intergroup on LGBT Rights, said: “In the face of continuing discrimination against LGBTI people in south-eastern Europe, it is good to see that the Commission paid more attention to the situation of LGBTI people throughout its accession reports than it has previously done.”

“It shows that the EU takes its commitment to human rights serious.”