Surveying LGBT people and authorities

This project encompasses two related surveys: A survey on discrimination against and victimisation of LGBT people. This survey aims to generate comparable data about the actual experiences of LGBT people living in the EU today This will be complemented by the views of public official and professionals in 19 Member States.
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This project encompasses two related surveys:

  1. A survey on discrimination against and victimisation of LGBT people. Over 93,000 LGBT people in the EU participated in the survey and the survey report can be found here. The report provides comparable data about the extent and nature of discrimination, violence and verbal abuse or hate speech on the grounds of sexual orientation and/or gender identity in the EU. European institutions and EU Member States can use the results for policy making purposes. The EU LGBT survey data explorer on FRA’s website provides a breakdown per survey question for each country, target group, age group etc. As the report showed high levels of discrimination among trans people, FRA also published a separate report on transgender-related aspects of the EU LGBT survey – focusing in some more depth on the fundamental rights situation of transgender people in the EU.
  2. A survey of public bodies and service providers. Taking into account the results from the EU LGBT survey, FRA identified public policy, education, law enforcement and healthcare as sectors in which many LGBT people face problems. The survey focused on the fundamental rights of LGBT people, and on the drivers and obstacles for setting up, implementing and monitoring LGBT equality policies in Ministries, schools, health institutions and police stations. The report will be published in 2015.

The results of both projects are intended to benefit policy makers at the EU and national level by identifying the scale, nature and context of discrimination against and victimisation of LGBT people, and by offering possible solutions towards the creation of equality. The project will also share with public bodies examples of promising practices collected during the research in the 19 EU Member States alongside other suggestions for developing or strengthening existing policies and practices.


Before the project there was no research covering the EU that would be capable of showing the actual extent to which discrimination against and victimisation of LGBT people actually occurs. The project generated these data, allowing FRA to analyse the scale of the problem and suggest possible solutions where problems exist. This was also the first project to directly conduct interviews with public authorities in selected EU countries that will map what kinds of policies and practices, capable of creating equality for LGBT people, are in place. The technical report provides more information on the way the project was implemented.

In order to understand better the challenges faced by public bodies and service providers towards the LGBT community, FRA conducted almost 1000 face-to-face interviews in 19 EU Member States with police officers, teachers, public officials and health workers (including trans health providers). The countries researched were Austria, Italy, Poland, Latvia, Denmark, Malta, Spain, France, Netherlands, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Finland, Ireland, UK, Slovakia, Greece and Lithuania. 

Related Information

EU law guarantees equal treatment for all people regardless of their sex and their sexual orientation in the context of employment and vocational training. The treaties of the EU, the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the Employment Equality Directive, guarantee the right to equality and non-discrimination and also require the EU to be proactive in combating such discrimination.

The rights of LGBT people in international law were reaffirmed by the UN Human Rights Council in a Resolution on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity, adopted 17 June 2011 (see here for background information). Of particular significance is the Council of Europe's Recommendation of the Committee of Ministers to member states on measures to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity.

In 2008 and 2009, FRA published two important EU-wide reports: a comparative legal analysis of legislation and case law in all 27 Member States (updated in 2010) and a comparative social analysis of the situation of LGBT people in various areas of social and economic life such as access to employment, education and healthcare. This research shows that discrimination against LGBT people, and homophobic and transphobic speech and crime more particularly, is a significant problem. FRA has published summaries of the main findings of this research in a synthesis report as well as a factsheet on the policy dimensions and a factsheet on key trends. In 2015 a new update will be published. A Focus Paper on intersex was published in May 2015.

The survey of LGBT people and the interviews with public authorities, takes FRA's research on equality for LGBT people a step further by producing comprehensive and comparable data on the extent of discrimination and victimisation, and by looking specifically at whether and how public authorities give effect to the rights of LGBT people through their practices and policies.

To learn more about the FRA's activities and find out about our publications in this field, please visit our thematic page on LGBTI rights.

Access the EU LGBT survey data explorer to view all survey responses >>