The EU Enlargement and Gay Politics in Central and Eastern Europe

14 Dec 2016 18:00
14 Dec 2016 20:00

LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual) rights have acquired symbolic value in EU politics and discourse, both in its internal and in its foreign policies. Yet such symbolic politics stands in sharp contrast with the limited amount of actual EU powers and legislation in the field. The aim of the book, which will be presented and discussed at this policy forum, is to answer the question of what the impact of EU enlargement has been on gay politics in Central and Eastern Europe. Has accession changed gay politics in Central and Eastern Europe? Can pre-accession talks already alter LGBT rights? Did the EU’s anti-discrimination legislation and policies provide opportunities for LGBT movements? Or, on the contrary, did the EU focus on LGBT rights concritize and politicize homophobic attitudes and provide leverage to nationalist politicians? These and many more exciting questions will be addressed on 14 December, by the editors of the book and their critics. The policy forum (open to all) also constitutes the closing lecture of the ‘Diversity Politics in the European Union’ course in the Master Programme in European Integration of the Institute for European Studies at VUB.


  • Introduction and Moderation by Ilke Adam and Christof Roos (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) 
  • Book presentation by Koen Slootmaekers (Queen Mary University), Heleen Touquet (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) and Peter Vermeersch (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven)
  • Discussion of the book by Lydia Malmedie (Potsdam University)
  • Insights from civil society Bjorn Roozendael (ILGA Europe)
  • Civil Rights in Poland Martin Mycielski (Committee for the Defence of Democracy – KOD)

The event will be followed by a reception.

To register, please fill in the online registration form.

Venue: Institute for European Studies, Pleinlaan 5, room Rome (floor -1).