Since 2019, the rights of LGBTIQ+ people in some EU Member States have been progressively violated, with over 100 municipal councils and regional parliaments in Poland passing resolutions that have created a climate of fear and insecurity for LGBTIQ+ citizens, their families and friends.
Liberal Mayors and regional representatives have a crucial role to play in eradicating LGBTIQ+ phobia. The Renew Europe Group in the European Committee of the Regions (Renew Europe CoR) reaffirmed this crucial role at this year’s ALDE Party Congress with a resolution on the topic, and calls on all Liberal Mayors and ALDE representatives to demonstrate the benefits of inclusiveness and embracing diversity as recipes for success.
Renew Europe CoR believes that Mayors and regional presidents can set the tone of inclusiveness in their municipalities and regions, showing zero-tolerance towards discrimination and reaching out to their LGTBIQ+ citizens. That is why more than twenty mayors under the leadership of Renew Europe CoR President François Decoster reached out to those Polish Mayors who created “LGBT-free zones” to call on them to rescind their resolution targeting LGBTIQ+ citizens.
At the ALDE Party Congress held on 11-12 June, Renew Europe CoR called through their resolution on all Liberal Mayors across Europe to promote the right of all citizens of being themselves, living their lives as freely as any other citizen, to ensure a free society respecting the rights of minorities, buildind bridges not walls, and also to work with other Mayors of different political families in their countries to demonstrate the benefits of inclusiveness and embracing diversity.
Local authorities can choose to embrace equality and diversity and prosper as a result: evidence shows that economies that are more inclusive are better placed to recover from hardship, such as from the COVID-19 pandemic. Promoting tolerance and openness, making our citizens prosper in freedom and harmony, are therefore core liberal principles which we will continue to support for a more inclusive society that benefits all.