Our achievements

ILGA-Europe was established as a region of ILGA in 1996, and since then the organisation has been engaged in extensive activities aimed at promoting LGBTI rights through the principal European institutions together with our member organisations.

Read more about the achievements here.

Since 1996, ILGA-Europe has grown from a volunteer-run organisation to a board-run non-governmental organisation led by a professional staff team based in Brussels. This advanced the organisation's ability to work on a higher advocacy level together with our membership.

The activities have done much to ensure a greater awareness of sexual orientation discrimination, and even more so, of gender identity discrimination, which until recent years, has been almost completely ignored by European level policymakers and legislators.

Key achievements at the main European institutions...

European Union

  • Since 2003, ILGA-Europe has received financial support from the European Commission as the main European network on sexual orientation discrimination.
  • Lobbying for the inclusion of sexual orientation discrimination in the anti-discrimination provisions of the Treaty of Amsterdam, and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights;
  • Working to ensure the effective implementation of the Employment Directive at national level;
  • Seeking to ensure full recognition of the rights of LGBT families in the Freedom of Movement Directive;
  • Seeking to ensure the recognition of persecution on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity in the EU's legislation defining refugee status;
  • Using the criteria for accession to the European Union to pressurise governments of candidates countries to repeal discriminatory laws.
  • Lead together with Italian member organisations in 2004 the successful campaign against the nomination of Mr Buttiglione for the position of Commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs, as he had expressed homophobic and transphobic views. The nomination was withdrawn.
  • Advocated for the decision of the EU Commissioner for Fundamental Rights to mark IDAHO (International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia
  • Worked together with partners for the adoption of EU Fundamental Rights Agency report on homophobia

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Council of Europe

  • Lobbied for the adoption of the Council of Europe‚Äôs Committee of Minister Recommendation on sexual orientation and gender identity in 2010.
  • Contributed to the work leading to the adoption by the Parliamentary Assembly of recommendations on the situation of lesbians and gays in Europe, on immigration and asylum, and on proposals for the inclusion of sexual orientation in Protocol 12 to the European Convention on Human Rights.
  • Successful engagement of ILGA-Europe and member organisations with European level court cases at teh European Court of Human Rights (e.g. Poland, Germany, France) on issues such as freedom of assembly, rights of pension benefits to surviving civil partner, single parent adoption.
  • Led in 2000 a campaign opposing the candidacy for the position of Secretary-General of Walter Schwimmer, an Austrian parliamentarian who had consistently opposed moves to eliminate legal discrimination against LGB people in Austria. Although he was elected by the Assembly, his majority was reduced to just two votes, far below the level expected.

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OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe)

ILGA-Europe has raised LGBTI rights during the annual Human Dimension Implementation Meeting conferences for many years. It has recently been invited to contribute to a Law Enforcement Officers Training Programme on hate crimes.

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Developing the European LGBTI movement

ILGA-Europe has also contributed to the development of the LGBTI movement in Europe, particularly in Eastern Europe. There is an enhanced capacity of movements to advocate for human rights of LGBTI people, including the creation of LGBTI movements in Russia, the South Caucasus and Western Balkans and ILGA-Europe has made a direct contribution to tripling their advocacy and documentation capacities. Positive changes are seen at the national level as a result of capacity building and joint advocacy work range from adopting inclusive anti-discrimination laws in Croatia, Albania, Serbia, new EU members, to assertion of freedom of assembly/association in Central and Eastern Europe countries.

The ILGA-Europe Annual Conferences have provided an important forum for exchange of information and best practice on campaigning, both at national level, and in making use of the European human rights institutions. The newsletter, monthly Euro-Letter, and media releases, ensure the circulation of critical information. Individual projects on documenting discrimination, for example in the context of EU accession, and health policy issues, have served both to highlight the extent of discrimination, and develop the capacity of the member organisations involved.

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