Thank you Mr President,

Dear Commissioner Jourová,

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to thank the Rapporteur Lopez Aguilar for underlining that article 7 should encompass not only rule of law but also fundamental rights and democracy.

As the co-chair of the LGBTI intergroup, I am particularly happy that LGBTI rights in Poland are so strongly addressed.

The amendments the intergroup proposed and which were adopted by the S&D rapporteur and supported by 4 other groups specifically target the fears and realities LGBTI persons are living in Poland.

This includes hate speech by high-level politicians and more recently Police brutality during the mass arrests of LGBTI activists this summer during the “Polish Stonewall”.

Apart from cutting EU funds under the city-twinning programme, which we highly welcome, the Commission’s lack of action regarding LGBTI free zones is deeply worrying.

Last April the court of Justice of the EU recognised in the “ Rete Lenford” case that homophobic statements can constitute discrimination in employment.

Therefore, the LGBTI intergroup asks the Commission:

Does the Commission agree that LGBTI free-zone declarations risk discriminating LGBTI persons in employment and occupation?

Will the Commission start an infringement procedure based on the EU Directive on Equal Treatment in Employment?

The Polish LGBTI community needs the Commission to take stronger action.

What concrete steps will the Commission take to protect it, especially when it comes to LGBTI human rights defenders like the authors of the “Atlas of Hate”?

Dear colleagues we must keep in mind that attacks on the rights of LGBTI persons are a serious threat to Fundamental Rights everywhere in our Union.

Throughout the whole summer, I listened to many testimonies from Polish LGBTI people.  They feel neglected because of the insufficient EU action but they still have hope and believe in strong EU support.

Dear commission let us not disappoint them.