Members of the European Parliament have welcomed the EU Fundamental Rights Agency’s first Europe-wide survey of the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

The Agency intends to gather comparable data on the experience of LGBT people across the European Union and future member state Croatia.

This new research should provide Members of the European Parliament with comparable data in the fields of discrimination, hate crime and legal protection to take informed legal and policy decisions in a variety of fields, including civil liberties, home affairs, health and employment policy.

The data will also help two other key EU institutions, the European Commission and the Council of the European Union, to make relevant legislative proposals in the future.

Michael Cashman MEP, Co-president of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights, said: “The Fundamental Rights Agency has always done highly relevant work in the field of fundamental rights and non-discrimination, and I’m pleased they’ve taken on this important project. It will open our eyes, as well as the Commission’s and national governments’, on the real situation of LGBT people in the EU today.”

Ulrike Lunacek MEP, Co-president of the LGBT Intergroup, added: “The lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are seldom accurately represented in mainstream policy debates. I hope this research will bring to light the specific challenges they still face, including their fears and the threats they face in some parts of our societies.”

The survey asks a range of questions about LGBT people’s experiences including:

    Personal circumstances
    Public perceptions and responses to homophobia and/or transphobia
    Discrimination
    Rights awareness
    Safe environment
    Violence and harassment
    The social context of being an LGBT person.

To learn more or to complete the anonymous survey, which should take around 15 minutes and is open to everyone living in the EU and Croatia over the age of eighteen, follow this link: http://lgbtsurvey.eu.

Survey results are expected in the second quarter of 2013.