Released by the offices of Ulrike Lunacek (MEP, EP Vice-President), Tanja Fajon (MEP, Vice Chair of the S&D Group) joined by “Aleanca LGBT” and “Pro LGBT”.
Mrs. Ulrike Lunacek, Member of the European Parliament and European Parliament Vice-President (Greens/EFA, Austria) and Mrs. Tanja Fajon, Member of the European Parliament and Vice-Chair of the S&D Group and both members of the Bureau of the EP’s Intergroup on LGBTI-rights, met today in Tirana with the activists and leaders of the LGBTI movement Ms. Xheni Karaj and Mr. Kristi Pinderi.
The activists informed Lunacek and Fajon on the developments of the LGBTI movement in Albania and on the challenges that the LGBTI community is facing in the country.
Participants in this meeting shared their common concern that Albania must now achieve concrete results in combating discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
It is important for all political parties in Albania sharing European values to join forces and work together with the front-line LGBTI human rights defenders in improving the existing laws and adopting more inclusive legislation, raising public awareness towards LGBTI challenges and ensuring the sustainability of the existing services offered to the LGBTI community. It is not fair and not realistic to expect all this work to be done only by the civil society organizations and by the activists alone.
The two MEPs praised the National LGBTI Action Plan that was approved last year (2016) as “a good step forward” while they agreed with the activists that “a good plan written in the paper is not enough if it is not fully implemented”.
It is important for Albania to understand that the path towards European integration will never be completed if human rights are not fully protected.