Thursday, 12 November 2020
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
229. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he has written to the Polish Prime Minister on concerns about LGBT-free zones; if so, if the letter will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35979/20]
I am very concerned at developments relating to LGBTI+ people in Poland. The principles of equality and non-discrimination are enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. It is important that these principles are protected and promoted throughout the Union.
The Government has expressed its concerns regarding this issue publicly. My colleague, the Minister of State for European Affairs, Thomas Byrne T.D., has also written to his counterpart in the Polish Government, emphasising the deep commitment of the Irish people to the fundamental values enshrined in the EU Treaties, including respect for human rights.
I have not written to the Polish Prime Minister regarding this issue, as such diplomatic correspondence would normally be addressed to direct counterparts. I can assure the Deputy however that our concerns on this matter have been raised with the Polish Government, and we will continue to raise those concerns through all appropriate channels.
The Deputy will already be aware of the many initiatives undertaken by the Embassy of Ireland in Poland, together with local non-governmental organisations, to raise awareness of and facilitate discussion of the rights of LGBTI+ people. These efforts continue, in spite of the difficulties presented by the Covid-19 crisis.
We will continue to work both bilaterally and at the EU level to promote and protect the rights of LGBTI+ people across the EU and beyond.