The European Union (EU) has rejected grants under a twinning programme to six Polish cities because of their attitude to the LGBT community.
The announcement was confirmed by the EU's Equality Commissioner, Helena Dalli. "EU values and fundamental rights must be respected by member states and public authorities," Dalli said. “This is why six town twinning applications involving Polish authorities that adopted ‘LGBT-free zones’ or ‘family rights’ resolutions were rejected,” she added.
The rejected applications concerned financing projects within the EU twinning project framework, i.e. the efforts to facilitate exchange and strengthen institutional cooperation between EU partner cities. Cities included in the twinning network can seek to obtain as much as EUR 150.000.
Supported by local politicians associated with the ruling Law and Justice party, 18 Polish counties and 16 municipalities passed resolutions denouncing “LGBT ideology” and declared themselves “LGBT-free zones”. In total, the zones cover a third of the country. The resolutions have no legal force, but they are a clear effort to stigmatize and discriminate non-heteronormative groups.