BREAKING NEWS

Discrimination falls, but wide differences remain across EU — study

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Participants attend Pride march in Lublin, Poland, September 28, 2019
Participants attend Pride march in Lublin, Poland, September 28, 2019 -
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Agencja Gazeta/Jakub Orzechowski via REUTERS
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Support for LGBTI relationships has grown in Europe, but it varies considerably between EU member states, according to a new Eurobarometer survey on discrimination in Europe.

Market research company Kantar surveyed 27,438 people in 28 member states between May 9 and May 25, 2019, for the European Commission.

Support for LGBTI rights was highest in Sweden and the Netherlands with 98% of people surveyed in Sweden and 97% of those surveyed in the Netherlands responding that gay, lesbian, and bisexual people should have the same rights as heterosexual people.

But just 31% of people in Slovakia, and 38% of people in Romania think that gay, lesbian, and bisexual people should have the same rights.

People in the Netherlands, Sweden, and Denmark had the highest percentage of people who believed that "same-sex marriages should be allowed throughout Europe", whereas Bulgaria, Slovakia and Latvia had the lowest percentage of respondents that agreed with that statement.

In Bulgaria, just 16% of those surveyed said they agreed that same-sex marriages should be allowed.

Improvements since 2015

People in 18 EU countries are more likely to agree that gay, lesbian, and bisexual people "should have the same rights as heterosexuals", but respondents in nine countries were less likely to agree.

The largest decreases in support for the statement, the survey said, were in Bulgaria, Slovakia, and Croatia.

People in 22 countries were more likely to agree that "same-sex marriage should be allowed throughout Europe" than in 2015.

The largest increases in support for allowing same-sex marriages between May 2015 and May 2019 were in Germany, Poland, the United Kingdom, and Portugal.

Roma in Europe

Discrimination for being Roma was considered the most widespread in Europe, the survey showed, with 61% of those surveyed in the EU saying it was widespread in their country.

Nineteen per cent of respondents said that "their country's efforts to integrate its Roma population" were effective and there were large differences between EU countries on whether society could "benefit from a better integration of the Roma".

In Finland, Sweden, and Spain more than 80% of respondents agreed with that statement but in Malta, just 18% of respondents said society would benefit from a better integration of the Roma and just 36% of people in Italy said did.

Good news

The report highlighted that 88% of Europeans say they would feel comfortable having a woman in the highest elected position in their country. This is a 7 percentage point increase compared to 2015.

Overall, there have been decreases in discrimination in EU member state countries since 2015, the study concluded.

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