Posted on 9. December 2015 in Press

On December 7, EU Commissioner for Justice and Gender Equality, Vera Jourova, presented with “strategic engagement for gender equality” [1] and List of Actions by the Commission to advance LGBTI equality“ [2] two documents outlining Commission actions until 2019 in these areas.

Transgender Europe is disappointed that repeated calls for sound and comprehensive strategies in both areas have not been taken up.

“This Commission promised to ‘be big on the big things and small on the small things’. Gender Equality and LGBTI persons apparently do not enjoy high priority despite rising extremism and populism. We regret that the Commission decided against both the LGBTI and gender equality strategy.“ comments TGEU’s Executive Director Julia Ehrt.

LGBTI List of Actions

Transgender Europe alongside the European Parliament, 15 EU governments [3] and other civil society groups have repeatedly called for an LGBTI Strategy. The now presented 10 actions cover non-discrimination, education, employment, health, free movement, asylum, hate speech/hate crime, enlargement and foreign policy. Plans for an EU law to combat hate crime against LGBTI people are not amongst them.

“We are disappointed. The areas covered are a good start. But the EU needs a comprehensive LGBTI Strategy for it to have a real impact. LGBTI people in the EU need actual political leadership and ambition to have their rights protected.” Comments TGEU’s Senior Policy Officer Richard Köhler.

Strategic Engagement for Gender Equality

The 94% of the 5.000 participants to a consultation on the future of EU gender equality policy who had called for a EU strategy [4] received a resounding “no” as an answer. The presented staff working document follows key priorities of the current strategy, but does not identify new areas, as requested by the European Parliament [5].

“TGEU participated in a consultative Forum, an online survey, wrote to the Commission and met with a Cabinet member making clear that trans people in the EU need a strong gender equality strategy. Rigid gender roles and continuous inequalities between women and men drive transphobia and render trans people invisible. Still, gender identity discrimination is nowhere mentioned in the staff working document on gender equality.“ says Ehrt: “We will continue to engage with the Commission and member states to implement the listed actions in both areas. But this will not stop us to call for tangible political commitment in form of comprehensive strategies. “



[1] COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT Strategic engagement for gender equality 2016-2019


[2] Commission publishes List of Actions to advance LGBTI equality


[3] EU governments call upon European Commission to take lead for LGBT rights


[4] Results of public consultation on Equality between men and women in the EU


[5] EU Parliament Report on the EU Strategy for equality between women and men post 2015