The EU Office in BiH welcomes the commitment by the Sarajevo Canton authorities to ensure that the first LGBTI Pride March in Bosnia and Herzegovina takes place peacefully in Sarajevo on 8 September 2019. The EU stands together with LGBTI persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina and worldwide. LGBTI persons are entitled to live their lives free from discrimination and threats, and in equality with all other citizens.
The EU calls on all political leaders and authorities to refrain from statements undermining fundamental rights and to help ensure that the March takes place in dignity and peace, respecting the human rights of all BiH citizens. The Pride March is an opportunity for BiH – which prides itself on being an open, multicultural country that respects the rights of all individuals – to demonstrate tolerance and appreciation for diversity.
The EU Office in BiH recalls that the European Commission Opinion on BiH’s EU membership application identifies the protection and inclusion of vulnerable groups, including LGBTI persons, as a key priority. The rights to freedom of assembly and of expression are fundamental elements of a functioning democratic society which need to be facilitated by the public authorities, and they are of crucial importance for the progress of any aspiring EU Member State.