The European Parliament today overwhelmingly adopted two progress reports which condemned the treatment of LGBT people in Serbia and Kosovo and recommended the two countries improve the situation.

A report on each of the two countries was adopted by the parliament today.

On Serbia, the report “strongly condemns the authorities’ decision to ban the planned September 2013 planned Belgrade Pride Parade as in the previous two years”, as well as calling for authorities to respect the freedom of assembly for LGBT people.

Going on, the parliament also called on authorities to improve efforts against violent hooligan groups’ threats against LGBT people, and for wider political support for the human rights of LGBT people, and for anti-discrimination strategy to be implemented.

In a second report, the parliament expressed strong concerns over persistent discrimination agianst LGBT people in Kosovo. It called for a national anti-discrimination strategy in order to ensure equality.

Noting homophobic attacks and violence on Kosovo 2.0 magazine, which published an issue on sex and sexuality, it urged for perpetrators to be prosecuted.

Overwhelming majorities accepted the reports.

Jelko Kacin MEP, Member of the Intergroup on LGBT rights and Rapporteur on Serbia, said: “Slowly but steadily, equal rights are progressing in Serbia and Kosovo, but more efforts are needed to effectively guarantee the rule of law and ensure the human rights of the LGBTI minority.”

“I am particularly concerned that the anti-discrimination law isn’t implemented very well, and that Belgrade Pride was banned yet again last September.”

Ulrike Lunacek MEP, Co-President of the LGBT Intergroup and Rapporteur on Kosovo, also commented, saying: “Respect for the rights of LGBTI people is an important hallmark of an inclusive and tolerant society. The principle of non-discrimination embedded in Kosovo’s constitution needs to be filled with relevant laws and implementation strategies in order to improve the lives of LGBTI people in the country.”

“I am glad that colleagues across the political spectrum have shown that the EU takes its human rights commitment seriously, and included strong wording on the rights of LGBTI people.”