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'EU money-free zones'. Union against LGBTQ+ discrimination

'EU money-free zones'. Union against LGBTQ+ discrimination

Image source: © canva
Marta Grzeszczuk,
18.05.2023 15:30

The European Commission has confirmed that Poland's discriminatory 'LGBT-free zones' will not get money from EU funds. Local governments are quietly backing away from homophobic provisions.

Municipalities with laws that discriminate against the LGBTQ+ community will not receive european funds from the 2021-27 budget. French MEP Pierre Karleskind sought official confirmation of the Union's position on this issue.

He tweeted the European Commission's written response on 16 May, the day before the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. "Not a single Euro of EU funds will finance 'LGBT-free zones' in Poland"- Karleskind writes in his tweet.

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"LGBT-free zones" will not get EU money

Discriminatory resolutions of Polish municipalities began to appear in 2019. It was in that year that the Law and Justice party (PiS) chose a non-heteronormative minority as the scapegoat of its parliamentary election campaign. As we remember, this cynical gamble proved successful, the elections were won by PiS, and LGBTQ+ people still feel less and less safe in Poland today.

By 2020, almost 30% of administrative units in Poland already introduced resolutions on 'LGBT-free zones' . They were fought by the then Ombudsman Adam Bodnar, who challenged nine such documents to the provincial administrative courts. All of them were found to have been passed without legal basis and with gross violations of the law.

When it became apparent that the allocation of EU funds for 2021-27 might be conditional on not being homophobic the situation began to change. The discriminatory laws were quietly withdrawn from most of the 190 administrative units where they were in force. There are about 40 of them left till this today. Their distribution is shown on atlasnienawiści.pl by the Campaign against Homophobia.

Poland has agreed to an anti-discriminatory clause

In the response to Mr Karleskind's query, representatives of the European Commission stress that Poland has agreed to include an anti-discrimination clause in the 2021-27 budget. It excludes support with EU funds for local authorities that undertake any discriminatory actions.

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