Statement

Poland and Hungary attempt to erase LGBTQI people in Council conclusions

06. 12. 2018

The European Youth Forum deeply regrets that today’s discriminatory actions by Poland and Hungary towards LGBTQI people have prevented the adoption of pioneering Council Conclusions on “Gender Equality, Youth and Digitalisation”.

Having been closely involved in the Austrian Presidency’s youth and gender equality priority, we are very disappointed that the final Council conclusions were not adopted. The outcomes of the Gender Equality and You(th) conference in Vienna in October, attended by young people from across Europe and gender equality ministers, outlined a vision for the future of gender equality for young people in Europe, that guided a significant portion of the text. It is therefore deeply regretful that these forward-looking conclusions could not be adopted by the entire Council.

However, Poland and Hungary’s efforts to remove references to LGBTQI people in the text is inexcusable. Young people have repeatedly highlighted that their Europe is an inclusive one, representing all people, regardless of age, gender, gender identity and/or sexual orientation. The Youth Forum therefore welcomes the decision by the other 26 Member States to adopt the conclusions as Presidency Conclusions, maintaining references to LGBTQI persons. The actions of Malta in leading the campaign for an LGBTQI strategy and a statement of solidarity with the LGBTQI community is much needed, and we thank the other 18 Member States who co-signed that declaration. No Council conclusions should ever aim to censor and erase any group of Europeans.

We hope that all Member States take on board the recommendations and proposals in the draft text and continue to work towards a more gender equal Europe for all young people.

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