LGBTQ+ activists in Ukraine, Bosnia and Moldova — the countries next in line to start talks on joining the EU — say the membership process could boost their fight for equality, but only if the bloc takes governments to task over rights progress.

Announcing the recommendation last week for talks to start with the three countries, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that could only happen once outstanding conditions related to the rule of law and democracy were met.

She said Georgia would be added to the list of candidate countries, which also includes Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey, a step welcomed by LGBTQ+ groups.