The European Union will widen legal protections for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, nonbinary, intersex and queer community in a bid to guarantee equality.
In its first EU Strategy for the LGBTIQ community unveiled Thursday, the EU tackles the inequalities and challenges affecting it. The union presents a number of actions, including legal and funding, for the community's protection over the next five years.
The strategy proposes extending the list of EU offenses to cover hate crimes, including homophobic hate speech. It will also craft legislation on the mutual recognition of parenthood in cross border situations, among others.
The new strategy will ensure community concerns are reflected in policy making. The intent is to make the community safer and accord them equal opportunities to prosper and participate in society.
Discrimination against the community persists in the EU with 43% of the community saying it feels discriminated.
Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli said the EU now asserts itself "as the example to follow, in the fight for diversity and inclusion."
She said the strategy sets out a series of targeted actions around four main pillars. These pillars are tackling discrimination; ensuring safety; building inclusive societies and leading the call for equality around the world.
In fighting discrimination, legal protection against discrimination is key to advancing equality. The EU will strengthen its equality bodies to attain this aim.
The European Commission will develop a regulatory framework addressing the risk of bias and discrimination inherent in artificial intelligence systems.
The strategy admits the community disproportionately suffers from hate crimes, hate speech and violence. Under-reporting of hate crimes remains a problem.
The commission will present an initiative in 2021 to extend the list of EU crimes to include hate crimes and hate speech. This will harmonize protection.
The commission will provide funding opportunities for initiatives combating hate crimes, hate speech and violence against the community.
To build inclusive societies, the EU will protect the rights of rainbow families. The commission will craft a legislative initiative on the mutual recognition of parenthood and explore measures supporting the mutual recognition of same-gender partnership between member states.
The commission will also support actions for community equality under the neighborhood, development and international cooperation instrument, the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance and the Asylum and Migration Fund.
The strategy is the first commission strategy for community equality, and delivers on EC President Ursula von der Leyen's commitment to a Union of Equality.
Equality and nondiscrimination are core values and fundamental rights in the EU. They are enshrined in its treaties and in the Charter of Fundamental Rights.