Poland's southern province appoints equality commissioner as response to EC

The Malopolskie province, southern Poland, has appointed a commissioner and a council for equality and family rights as a response to a call from the European Commission to annul a so called anti-LGBT declaration or face the possibility of losing EU funding.

The authorities of the Malopolskie province had time until Tuesday, Sept. 14, to send an answer to the EC's warning letter regarding its declaration of 2019.

In July, the EC sent a letter to local government activists in the Malopolskie province telling them that the EU might suspend assistance funding for the region if the anti-LGBT declaration remaind in force.

According to the EC, the document violates the rights of sexual minorities.

Despite the threat, the Malopolskie provincial assembly did not annul the declaration during its sitting on August 20.

"The appointment of a commissioner and a council for equal treatment and family rights is a response to the EC's e-mails," the head of the Malopolskie provincial assmebly, Witold Kozlowski, said on Tuesday, adding that a letter regarding this decision had been handed over to the government commissioner for equal treatment.

"We do not respond directly to the EC. This will be done by the commissioner for equal treatment," he added.

Kozlowski stated that the entire matter was being treated very seriously, since "no person should be discriminated against by anyone."

In mid-July, the EC launched an infringement procedure against Poland over resolutions declaring "LGBT-free zones" in a number of Polish municipalities.

If Poland fails to comply, the EC may take the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Over 100 Polish local governments have passed such resolutions, which triggered protests from LGBT people in Poland and abroad as well as causing a diplomatic backlash.

In February, the south-eastern Podkarpackie province lost EUR 1.7 million in Norway and EEA Grants funding after its regional assembly passed a resolution against "LGBT ideology".