Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission
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(1).