Steve Taylor

Thessaloniki selected to host EuroPride 2020

Posted by | EuroPride | No Comments

in case of winning-01The Greek city of Thessaloniki will host EuroPride in 2020, following voting by members of the European Pride Organisers Association at their annual meeting in Gothenburg, Sweden, on Saturday 23rd September 2017.

Thessaloniki Pride won a clear majority of votes in the second round of voting. Bergen Pride (Norway), The Belgian Pride (Brussels), and Hamburg Pride (Germany) were also standing. Click here to see all four bids.

Kristine Garina, President of the European Pride Organisers Association, said:

“To have four incredible bids as we did this year shows the importance of the Pride movement. And EuroPride in Thessaloniki will have a special resonance as it will be the first time in that region, and provide a focal point for LGBTI Pride activists across south east Europe. I congratulate Thessaloniki Pride on gathering such amazing support.”

“I also wish to thank the teams from Bergen, Brussels and Hamburg for putting together excellent bids. All could have easily hosted EuroPride, but there can be only one winner. They should all be very proud of what they created.”

Thanos Vlachogiannis of Thessaloniki Pride said:

“We would like to thank the members of the European Pride Organisers Association for granting Thessaloniki the honour and responsibility to host the 2020 EuroPride. It is a major opportunity for the LGBTI movement in Europe to show its solidarity and fight for equality and inclusion where the everyday battle for visibility and well being of LGBTI community takes place. This cornerstone decision reflects our determination to welcome EuroPride in south east Europe for the first time and deliver the message to our society and Europe that we can make breakthroughs despite the harsh conditions. Organising a safe, political EuroPride that is still full of vibe and excitement is a challenge and a promise of ours to Europe and the world.”

Ingrid Linde Bakken of Bergen Pride said:

“We want to thank all the members of EPOA and everyone else who gave their support to our bid. We think it is amazing that four cities applied for the license of EuroPride 2020, and wish Thessaloniki Pride the best of luck with the event in 2020.”

Frank Schoenmakers of The Belgian Pride said:

“We are disappointed that EuroPride 2020 isn’t coming to Brussels, but we’re far from discouraged. Creating the bid and the campaign, was already an enriching experience, that brought a multitude of partners around the table for a close collaboration. It stirred up creativity and brought us into contact with a lot of other prides, leading to a lot of actions that we will integrate in the next Belgian Pride events.”

“Our ambition to organise a large, international pride event remains in place, and the experience we gained will help us in our next campaign. EuroPride has never taken place in the European capital, and we’re confident that we’ll host it one year or another. The unique situation of the Belgian Pride, being situated in the political heart of Europe, makes that we’ll grow more and more towards a permanently European pride, especially in 2019 when the European elections will take place.”

Stefan Mielchen of Hamburg Pride said:

“Hamburg sends their congratulations to Thessaloniki Pride. It is inspiring to see how four European partners were competing to host this major European LGBTI rights event. We wish our winning friends good luck in the upcoming preparation! Also, we are happy about the opportunity to present the bid for Hamburg. Even though we didn’t take the EuroPride home, we are confident about having prepared an ambitious, fruitful and inclusive pride project. We esteem the loving support we received from the Hamburg community as well as the Hamburg Parliament that granted their unanimous support to our project. Special thanks also to Hamburg Marketing for accompanying us with all their expertise in this matter. This bid wasn’t possible without the backing support of numerous enterprises, institutions and community partners in our city. Now, we are looking forward to keeping up the fight for the rights and respect for sexual minorities on a local, regional, national and international level. No matter if in Hamburg, Bergen, Brussels or Thessaloniki – contact and dialogue are crucial for a world of diversity, freedom and solidarity.”

In 2018 EuroPride takes place in Stockholm and Gothenburg, Sweden, and in 2019 in Vienna, Austria.

Voting ‘on a knife-edge’ as four cities bid for EuroPride 2020

Posted by | EuroPride | No Comments
  • Bergen (Norway), Brussels (Belgium), Hamburg (Germany) and Thessaloniki (Greece) all in the running, only the second time four Prides have bid in the same year in EuroPride’s history
  • EuroPride is a pan-European international LGBTI event featuring a Pride parade hosted by a different city each year since 1992
  • Voting for EuroPride 2020 takes place at the European Pride Organisers Association AGM in Gothenburg, Sweden, 22nd-24th September, with the winner announced approx. 1700CET on Saturday 23rd September
  • View the Bid Documents in full

Voting takes place this weekend on which city will host EuroPride, Europe’s main Pride festival, in 2020. For only the second time in the event’s 25 year history four cities are bidding, and organisers say it will be the most hotly contested EuroPride selection process yet.

BerBruHamTheThe European Pride Organisers Association (EPOA), which licenses EuroPride, brings together the organisers of LGBTI Pride events across Europe, and its members are gathering in Gothenburg, Sweden, for their annual meeting, beginning tomorrow.

Bergen Pride in Norway, the Belgian Pride in Brussels, Hamburg Pride in Germany, and Thessaloniki Pride in Greece are all running.

Representatives of each Pride will formally present their bids to EPOA members tomorrow, ahead of voting and a result expected Saturday afternoon. Each bid has the enthusiastic support of the mayor and leaders of their respective cities.

EPOA’s President, Kristine Garina, who organised EuroPride in Riga, Latvia, in 2015, commented on the voting this weekend:

At its core, Pride is a human rights movement that changes lives. It gives visibility to all sections of the LGBTI community and is a force for change, and an in increasingly intolerant world, Pride could not be more relevant or more important. The diversity of the four Prides who are bidding shows just how important it is.

Each of the four Prides have produced comprehensive bid documents, all of which tell a compelling story about why EuroPride should be awarded to their city. It’s clear that whoever wins, EuroPride 2020 will be a stand out year in the history of the event.

Joakim Aadland, President of Bergen Pride, said:

Bergen is one of Norway’s most culturally diverse cities, packed with history and tradition. The city’s culture and amazing scenery will help to create a EuroPride that will stand out, and we will use our political commitment to work on improving the rights of all LGBTI people in Europe.

During the recent years we have all witnessed political movements and extremist groups in Europe trying to create division among minorities. Common for these are their hatred against a diverse and open society. Bergen will use its position as a city in one of the most gender equal and progressive countries in the world, to create a platform against these extremist threats that are trying to divide us.

Our slogan is ‘United by Pride’ and a EuroPride in Bergen will be noticeable all over Europe and hopefully unite minorities in a common fight against hate and segregation.

If Bergen gets the opportunity to host EuroPride we would be the smallest host city ever, and we would use this to our advantage. This way we can send a signal throughout Europe that no matter the size of your community, you can be a part of a movement making a change.

Marian Lens, Board Member of The Belgian Pride, said:

Brussels is the second most diverse city in the world, and for us that’s more than just a statistic. Walking through its streets and riding its tramways, you hear every possible language around you, you feel intensely its cosmopolitan character. People are truly open-minded and respect others for who they are. What better place to organise a global event, rich in human values, such as EuroPride!

EuroPride 2020 should come to the European capital for a very important reason: it will be the first under the new EU Commission, after the European elections. Apart from having a great and colourful celebration, we will create a true activist event, involving LGBTI movements across the continent. Europe should be at the forefront once again of ensuring freedom, respect for human rights and equality among its own member states and at the international level.

Only in Brussels can we involve Europe in such an intensive way, and drape its new policy makers in rainbow colors. With the success and reputation of Belgian Pride, known for its inclusivity, it’s now time for EuroPride to come to ours and Europe’s capital for the first time. Let’s make it happen!

Nicole Schaening, Second Chairperson of Hamburg Pride, said:

‘United in Pride’, is the motto of Hamburg’s bid for EuroPride 2020 and we invite the European LGBTI community to gather in Hamburg. It is a perfect place to host this event: as a port city, Hamburg is a gateway to the world with an open spirit. The Hamburg city Parliament supported the application with a unanimous decision and thus EuroPride 2020 becomes a matter for the entire city.

As passionate Europeans and as a queer community, we are part of the broader community of shared values which is currently facing major political and social challenges. EuroPride 2020 gives the opportunity to discuss issues relating to diversity, acceptance and equality in Europe on a major public stage. Our bid includes an international human rights conference that shall shift focus on LGBTI issues. An outreach programme enables activists from as many countries as possible to speak up for human rights. Also, a EuroPride Village in the heart of the city gives space to Europe’s queer organisations to present their cause. With a year-round events programme, 2020 will be the Year of Pride in Hamburg.

Fenia Kirkmali, Volunteer Coordinator for Thessaloniki Pride, said:

2020 marks a new era for EuroPride and Thessaloniki marks a new region where EuroPride has never been hosted before. In Thessaloniki Pride, we envision EuroPride 2020 as the future where inclusion is the number one priority and we are bidding because we want to give the chance and offer the liberating experience of participation in EuroPride to LGBTI people from Greece, the Balkans, Turkey, LGBTI refugees and migrants, and other people who otherwise couldn’t participate.

It’s our strong belief that no matter someone’s financial situation, their background, the place they live or their refugee status, everyone should be able to join EuroPride. As the success of EuroPride is already certain in a region that needs it the most, EuroPride 2020 can accomplish its purpose because it will be used as a lever to promote LGBTI rights in Greece and support the whole Greek LGBTI community.

Most importantly, with the city being a crossroad of the Balkans, EuroPride in Thessaloniki will become a safe platform for everyone to freely express themselves and give voice to LGBTI people in all its neighbouring countries.

Next year’s EuroPride will take place in Stockholm and Gothenburg, Sweden, the first time it has been split between cities. In 2019 it will be in Vienna, Austria.


Notes to Editors

  1. The four bid documents can be found on the EPOA website.
  2. EuroPride is a pan-European international LGBTI event featuring a Pride parade hosted by a different city each year. It has run in a different city every year since 1992. Further explanation and a full list of previous hosts can be found on the EPOA website.
  3. Pride organisations (not individuals) are eligible to join EPOA, and each member organisation has one vote on the EuroPride selection.
  4. The European Pride Organisers Association (EPOA) is a network of European lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) Pride organisations. It was founded in London in 1991. EPOA’s purpose is to promote LGBTI Pride on a pan-European level and to empower and support local and national Pride organisations in their efforts planning and promoting Pride celebrations.
  5. The EPOA Annual General Meeting is being held at the Clarion Post Hotel, Gothenburg, Sweden, from Friday 22nd September to Sunday 24th September. The results of the EuroPride vote will be announced on EPOA’s social media (including a live stream on Facebook) on Saturday 23rd September at approx. 1700CET.
  6. Media wishing to attend the AGM should contact Steve Taylor (below).

Further Information

Steve Taylor, Communications Coordinator, EPOA
Email / Tel +44 77 29 24 29 46

Bergen: Ingrid Linde Bakken, Bergen Pride

Brussels: Frank Schoenmakers, Board Member, The Belgian Pride

Hamburg: Matthias Laiss, Media Spokesperson, Hamburg Pride

Thessaloniki: Thanos Vlachogiannis, Spokesperson, Thessaloniki Pride

Istanbul Pride must go ahead safely, say EPOA and InterPride

Posted by | EuroPride, InterPride | No Comments

Following the banning on Saturday 24 June of the Istanbul Pride event due to take place on Sunday 25 June, the European Pride Organisers Association and InterPride have written to the Mayor of Istanbul, as follows:

To Mr. Vasip Sahin
Governor of Istanbul

Madrid, June 24th 2017

Subject: Istanbul Pride 2017
Your excellence,

This week, World Pride is taking place in Madrid. World Pride connects the LGBTI-community around the world, celebrating that LGBTI people are a part of society wherever they are in the world.

InterPride, the global federation of pride organizers, together with the European Pride Organisers Association, is deeply concerned that the Istanbul Pride March planned for Sunday June 25th has been banned. Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride Week has been organized since 1993, ending with a Pride March on Istiklal Avenue since 2002.

Demonstrations and marches are integral to basic human rights concerning the freedom of expression and association. The ban is in clear violation not only of the legal precedents of the European Court of Human Rights, but also of international treaties ratified by Turkey.

A strong and self-confident democratic country is able to embrace diversity and to withstand those who deny others their basic human rights. With your statement in which you ban the Pride march, you legitimize groups or individuals who make threats and commit hate crimes by suggesting that there are “sensitivities.”

For many years we have seen very successful pride events taking to the streets of Istanbul, celebrated by many LGBTI people. We urge you to ensure that the Pride march takes place safely and securely with respect for the human rights of every participant and spectator. You must also consider how this can be protected in the years to come.

Yours sincerely,

President of European Pride Organisers Association
Kristine Garina

Co-president of InterPride
Sue Doster & Brett Hayhoe

PrideRadar 2016

Posted by | InterPride | No Comments

PrideRadar shows strength of Pride movement in Europe


radar-europeEPOA has welcomed publication of the 2016/7 PrideRadar report from InterPride’s Human Rights Committee.

PrideRadar surveys LGBT+ Pride organisations from around the world, bringing the data together to provide a fascinating and compelling analysis of the state of the Pride movement worldwide.

The report found a total of 339 Pride organisations in Europe, with the United Kingdom, Germany and Sweden having the most. This represents one Pride event for every 2.2 million inhabitants. There were 148 Prides in northern Europe, 110 in western Europe, 12 in eastern Europe, and 67 in southern Europe.

There are many challenges facing Pride organisers in Europe. Pride events have been met with restrictions, violence and political opposition in the Baltic, the Balkans, Turkey, the Ukraine and elsewhere, and in France Pride events have been forced into financial difficulty as a result of terrorist attacks forcing their postponement.

EPOA will be doubling its effort to encourage more European Prides to join the Association, and the Board will be exploring options for how it can support Pride organisers in hostile nations, beginning with the Board’s first meeting of 2017 which will take place in Sofia, Bulgaria.