Brussels-based lobby organisation ILGA Europe has revealed that a quarter of MEPs are committed to LGBTI equality, with 185 members of the 751-seat European Parliament signing the group’s Come Out Pledge.

ILGA questioned all the candidates who were putting themselves up for election, and almost 1,200 from across all 28 EU Member States have said they support a 10-point plan, committing themselves to advancing human rights and LGBTI equality over the next five years.

Gabi Calleja, Co-Chair of ILGA Europe’s Executive Board, said: ‘The huge number of supporters signals growing cross-party support for LGBTI equality. But now, promises need to be translated into real action, and the first test will be to ensure that the next EU Commission commits to adopting an European LGBTI strategy as well as an EU internal human rights strategy.’

Paulo Côrte-Real, also Co-Chair of ILGA-Europe’s Executive Board, pointed out that the election results sent a shock wave across the EU, with gains for far-right parties. However, he added that the vast majority of the Parliament continues to be held by political groups that support a European Union of fundamental rights and non-discrimination.

‘We will continue working with all parties who fully subscribe to a human rights and LGBTI equality agenda,’ he said, ‘to strengthen cross-party support which is more than ever needed to uphold values of dignity, equality and social justice in Europe.’