EU Commissioner Reding answers disingenuously on funding of gay lobbyism

Posted on | February 22, 2012 by J.C. von Krempach, J.D. |

The European Commission’s strange practice of funding 70% of the budget of ILGA-Europe, a homosexualist lobby notorious for its links to groups seeking to promote pedophilia, is increasingly coming under pressure. Recently we reported about a series of questions on this topic asked by MEP Godfrey Bloom, which, while the Commission still needs to answer them, have triggered a nervous and aggressive reply from some gay and lesbian politicians.

But Mr. Bloom is not the only one to ask questions. A few weeks before him, MEP Konrad Szymanski had already submitted the following question:

The Commission has been one of the main sponsors of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) for some years now. From 2007 to 2010, ILGA received from the Commission a total amount of EUR 4 107 457.12, i.e. more than EUR 1 million per annum. The main part of this sum derives from a DG EMPL funding programme called PROGRESS, from which ILGA receives an operational grant covering up to 80 % of its running costs.

ILGA’s main activity is to influence the legislation in order to guarantee rights to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex persons, in particular in the field of marriage and substitutes for marriage.

In reality, the EU has no competences as regards the recognition of marriages or family law.

1. On what legal basis is the Commission giving out operational grants to associations whose main activities are outside the scope of the EU’s competences?

2. Why has the Commission decided to support associations whose activities are directed towards changing Member State law, this being especially questionable in the case of countries such as Poland, which is under this kind of lobbying pressure regarding its family law and which has declared its legislative independence in that sphere (see the Declaration by the Republic of Poland on the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union)?

3. Does the Commission recognise that by becoming a major sponsor for the above lobby, active in Poland as well as in other Member States, it is acting outside its competences and is actually breaching the principle of subsidiarity enshrined in the Treaties (Article 5(3) TEU)?

The answer, given by Commissioner Viviane Reding on behalf of the Commission, has now been received. It runs:

Under the PROGRESS programme adopted by the European Parliament and the Council on the basis of Article 19(2) TFEU for anti-discrimination matters, ILGA Europe receives an operating grant to promote non-discrimination and equal opportunities.

Regarding the scope of the activities financed, the Commission emphasises that this financial support covers, among others, raising public awareness about the existing rights of all LGBT people in Europe to non-discrimination as well as about the respect, tolerance and the benefits of diversity. In this regard, the Commission fully respects the competences of the Member States in the area of family law.

The Commission recalls that the principles of equality and non-discrimination are core EU values and are guaranteed by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, Article 21 of which prohibits any discrimination based on sexual orientation by the Union as well as by Member States inasmuch as they implement Union law.

Moreover, Article 19 TFEU establishes the legislative competence for the EU to take measures combating discrimination on ground of sexual orientation. On this basis, the Council adopted Directive 2000/78/EC, which prohibits discrimination on ground of sexual orientation in matters of employment and occupation.

As one can clearly see, Mrs. Reding’s reply, albeit lengthy, does not provide the answer to the questions she was asked.

Mr. Szymanski’s first question contained the allegation that ILGA-Europe’s main activities are “outside the scope of the EU’s competences”. This is, one would believe, the decisive point here: if those activities are outside the EU’s competences, then the EU has no right to finance them.

Mrs. Reding, however, neither confirms nor contradicts this allegation. Instead, she writes that the financial support provided to ILGA “covers, among others, raising public awareness about the existing rights of all LGBT people in Europe to non-discrimination as well as about the respect, tolerance and the benefits of diversity.”

The decisive words here seem to be “among others”. In actual fact, only a very small part of ILGA’s activities relate to “existing rights of all LGBT people in Europe”, whereas the group’s main activity consists in campaigninging legislative changes, such as the introduction of ‘same-sex marriages’, homosexual adoption, or similar. Quite obviously, this has nothing to do with “existing rights of LGBT people” that are generally accepted by all Member States. It is a highly controversial agenda that is rejected by a majority of citizens as well as by a majority of Member States. Absurdly, through the Commission’s PROGRESS programme, taxpayers are constrained to finance this agenda, althogh most of them are opposed to it.

Is Mrs. Reding able to explain which part of the funding provided to ILGA is actually used for the “raising of public awareness about the existing rights of all LGBT people” , and which part is used for campaigning on issues that have nothing to do with “existing rights”? Of course not. Because in actual fact the Commission funding is not linked to any particular activities, but it is a bulk grant that can be used for whatever ILGA wants to use it for.

For Mr. Szymanski’s second and third question, Mrs. Reding does not provide any answer. Regrettably, this creates the impression as if the Commission were unable to rebutt the allegation of having acted outside its competences.

It is unlikely that these will have been the last parliamentary questions on the topic.



Turtle Bay and Beyond is a blog covering international law, policy and institutions. Our experts - at the UN, European Institutions, and elsewhere - explore an authentic understanding of international law, sovereignty, and the dignity of the human person. We expose those who would seek to impose a radical social vision that is contrary to these principles.


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