European Union Enlargement

ILGA-Europe is involved in the Enlargement process of the European Union.

Read about the about the work we are doing on the process for 7 of the 8 candidate countries - Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, FYR Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey.

What is the European Union Enlargement?

All countries preparing to join the European Union are required to meet the Copenhagen Criteria, namely to preserve democratic governance and human rights, a functioning market economy, and to assume the obligations of EU membership. In addition, the countries are required to transpose the EU legislation into national laws and, more importantly, to implement and enforce them through the appropriate administrative and judicial structures.

What is ILGA-Europe's role?

ILGA-Europe’s main focus of advocacy work in the accession process is to ensure that human rights issues of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people are raised during accession negotiations with the countries and are reflected in national laws, policies and practices.

What have ILGA-Europe done?

  • ILGA-Europe has provided annual input to the Enlargement strategy and country Progress Reports advocating for increased political support for LGBTI issues.
  • We have continually monitored and reported on the situation of LGBTI people in the Western Balkans and Turkey and raised our concerns with relevant officials at EU institutions.
  • In addition, we have supported the advocacy work of national LGBTI organisations and facilitated their exchanges with EU officials both at national and Brussels level.

What has ILGA-Europe achieved?

  • The European Commission has increasingly addressed human rights concerns of LGBTI people in its annual Progress Reports and has committed in its 2013 Enlargement strategy to step up its political and programmatic support for LGBTI issues in the Western Balkans and Turkey.
  • LGBTI organisations in the Western Balkans and Turkey have started effectively using institutional mechanisms for their national advocacy work which led to significant changes in national laws and policies in most countries in the region.


For more information, please contact Lilit Poghosyan, Senior Programmes & Policy Officer.

ILGA-Europe's submissions to Progress Reports of the European Commission

ILGA-Europe has in partnership with national organisations provided the European Commission with detailed documentation on human rights violations against LGBTI people in all candidate and potential candidate countries throughout the year which is included in the submissions to the Progress Reports.

Find the submissions here for 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

ILGA-Europe's feedback and media statements on Enlargement strategy and Progress Reports from the European Commission

ILGA-Europe has in partnership with national organisations provided the European Commission with feedback on the Commission’s progress reports.

Read the feedback since 2008 here.

Study visits to the EU for LGBTI activists

ILGA-Europe organises study visits to the EU for LGBTI activists from the Western Balkan and Turkey. Find information about the study visits here.

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