EU officials release survey on discrimination
The European Commission has published its latest survey on discrimination in the EU, including on grounds of sexual orientation and for the first time gender identity.
Some of the results are practically evenly split.
46% of respondents surveyed across the EU think gay, lesbian and bisexual people face discrimination, while the same figure think they rarely or never do.
Similarly, 45% across the EU think transgender people face discrimination, and 42% disagree.
However, the results become far more varied when comparing individual countries with discrimination perceived as high as 77% towards LGB people in Cyprus, or as low as 16% in Bulgaria for transgender people.
The Eurobarometer only measures perception of discrimination, and doesn’t establish factual levels of discrimination or violence faced by LGBT people in the EU.
Overall, no significant change was recorded since 2009, despite some countries featuring less perceived discrimination (Sweden, Romania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Poland), and some more (Cyprus, Slovakia, Greece, Slovenia, Belgium).
Members of the European Parliament have welcomed the research.
Sirpa Pietikäinen, vice president of the LGBT Intergroup, said: “I’m happy to see that citizens feel increasingly comfortable with LGBT persons overall, even mildly at 0.1% across the Union.”
“Of course there are both positive and negative evolutions in individual member states, but in the long run I am convinced the European Union has a beneficial effect for the acceptance of LGBT people.”
In the first half of 2013, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights will publish results from its LGBT equality survey, featuring actual levels of discrimination in the EU.