As the start of the Pride Season 2007 comes closer on the LGBT community calendars, the European Parliament’s Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights focused its attention on the situation in Moldova.

Since 2005, attempts to organise Pride marches in favour of equality and diversity have been stopped by the authorities, recently, the organiser of these Pride Marches, GenderDoc-M, has been receiving further harassment from the authorities disabling its work.

The Intergroup called on the state authorities to stop all actions which are in violation of the fundamental right to assembly. The Intergroup reminded Moldova that if it considered accession to the European Union a high-level political objective, that human rights would be considered a crucial element of accession negotiations.

The EU-Moldovan Joint Action Plan, which commits Moldova to implementing anti-discrimination legislation for minorities in line with European standards, should be seen by Moldova as an opportunity to do more to protect its LGBT minority as well.

The Intergroup confirmed its intentions to monitor Moldova’s actions closely to ensure it kept to its promises.

“Any failure to meet the high standards of human rights that have been set by the Copenhagen criteria would seriously hinder the progress of any application,” Alexander Stubb, Vice-President of the Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights, warned.

Michael Cashman, President of the Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights, said: “The Moldovan authorities need to understand that the LGBT community has the right to meet, and that it is the role of the authorities to facilitate, not hinder, attempts to assemble.”

The Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights reiterated its support for the work of Moldovan organisation, GenderDoc-M. It has revealed that the Intergroup is working on improving coordination and attendance at Pride events in 2007 in the light of continued hindrance of LGBT people’s freedom of assembly in Central and Eastern Europe.

“It is our understanding that GenderDoc-M hopes to organise a Pride event,” Sophie in’t Veld, Vice-President of the Intergroup explained, “It will be our task to try and ensure a delegation is sent to observe and participate in the March as a sign of support for these marches for diversity and equality from members of European Parliament.”

Raul Romeva, Vice-President of the Intergroup saidL “The Intergroup is committed to honouring this 2007 rendezvous set by GenderDoc-M in Moldova.”