Five Prides announce bids for EuroPride 2022

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– Brussels, Wednesday 3 April 2019

For the first time in EuroPride’s history, five Prides are competing for the right to host Europe’s main LGBTI event in 2022.

The bidding organisations [in alphabetical order] are Barcelona Pride (Spain), Belgrade Pride (Serbia), Dublin Pride (Ireland), Variações & ILGA Portugal (Portugal), and Winter Pride Maspalomas (Spain).

EuroPride 2022 will be the thirtieth anniversary of the first EuroPride, and the fiftieth anniversary of the first Prides in Europe. EuroPride has been hosted in more than twenty cities across Europe, beginning in London in 1992, and this year takes place in Vienna, Austria, from 1st to 16th June. Recent hosts include Riga (2015), Amsterdam (2016), Madrid (2017), and Stockholm and Gothenburg (2018). 

Each of the bids will be presented at the annual general meeting of the European Pride Organisers Association (EPOA), taking place in Bilbao, Spain, in September.  Every member organisation has one vote.

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

“This year the Pride movement marks fifty years since the Stonewall uprising in New York that led to the birth of our movement, and so it’s wonderful that we have such excitement and interest in EuroPride in such an important year.”

“I know that all the bids for EuroPride 2022 will have human rights, LGBTI equality and political campaigns at their heart. Pride is a movement for fairness and equality, and I am excited to see the bids and to find out who will host Europe’s most important LGBTI event in 2022!”

Juan Julià, President of Barcelona Pride, said:

“Barcelona is a unique city that captivates those who visit it with its cosmopolitan character, its Mediterranean climate and its artistic and cultural legacy. Barcelona is creative, open, friendly, dynamic, cosmopolitan, inclusive. And above all, it is a diverse city with values. 

“That is why it marked the beginning of the LGBTI movement in Spain, housing the first demonstration of the country in its streets. And, for the same reason, the rainbow flags continue to wave proudly on the balconies throughout the city. 

“EuroPride Barcelona would be the culmination of an evolving LGBTI project, with a festive and cultural program that grows each year accompanied by powerful social campaigns. And most importantly it would mean the opportunity to show that the people of Barcelona are the best hosts; we proved it in the past and we are ready to prove it again!”

Goran Miletić, of Belgrade Pride, said:

“Serbia is still fighting institutionalised homophobia and transphobia as well as lack of acceptance in the general public. Although the status quo is not yet favorable towards sexual and gender minorities, we have made substantial progress, making Belgrade Pride the biggest in all non-EU countries in the region.

“Although the first Prides in 2001 and 2010 were met with violence, and the Prides of 2009 and 2011/12/13 were banned by the government – the activists have fought long and hard to successfully organise since 2014. Belgrade Pride has grown to become safe, diverse and a hub for activists from the whole region.

“Our community needs to grow stronger and EuroPride 2022 is crucial in helping us in that mission. EuroPride will draw greater attention to the unique problems the LGBT+ people are facing in the Balkans.”

Jed Dowling, Festival Director of Dublin Pride, said:

“2022 will mark a hundred years of Irish independence. Hosting EuroPride will celebrate two of the most important influences on the development of our country, Europe and Pride. Dublin had its first Pride event around the time we joined the EU. Since we embraced both, we have become one of the most progressive cities in the world. We are a technology and business hub for Europe, but we are also a city that overwhelmingly voted to support marriage equality in 2015, and a woman’s right to choose in 2018. Dublin Pride has grown from a dozen people to over 100,000 taking part in our event.”

“By hosting EuroPride in 2022 we will show that we can celebrate all the benefits of being part of something bigger and at the same time celebrate our independence and individuality. And of course, as this is Dublin, we can guarantee that the craic will be mighty.”

Marta Ramos and Carlos Sanches Ruivo, Co-Chairs of Portugal’s application for EuroPride 2022, said:

“In 2019, Portugal tied for first place among the world’s LGBTI-friendly travel destinations. Portugal’s rapid progress in recognising LGBTI rights—particularly for a small, conservative country—can inform and inspire others. But despite our achievement, hearts and minds still must change in order for us to realise full LGBTI equality and safeguard it for future generations.

“With the Catholic church holding World Youth Day in Portugal in 2022, EuroPride that same year in Portugal would be an important show of visibility and acceptance for LGBTI people young and old, both here and around the globe. Our strong, historic ties can carry that message, especially to Portuguese-speaking countries, and the close-knit network of the worldwide Portuguese diaspora can spread the values we change at home to communities everywhere.”

Emiel Wijnberg, organiser of  Winter Pride Maspalomas, said:

“Maspalomas Winter Pride has become one of Europe’s favourite Pride celebrations within just five years of its existence. Gathering thousands of international visitors and being one of the final major Pride celebrations of the year, Maspalomas is the ideal location for EuroPride to show the world what Winter Pride stands for; unity, diversity and freedom.

“Maspalomas offers the ideal circumstances to make this happen with an average temperature of 23 degrees in November, a secure destination with a large selection of hotels, beaches and a society with governments and companies who support our LGBT community. Welcome to Maspalomas, welcome to Gran Canaria, this is your Winter Pride!”

The full bids will be published on Monday 29th July, and the result is expected to be announced on the afternoon of Saturday 21st September.

Important dates 2019

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With the holidays over, we’re into Pride planning season! Before you get too involved, make sure you’ve got the key dates for 2019 in your diary!

EuroPride – Vienna, 1-16 June

Vienna hosts EuroPride for the second time this year (last time was 2001) and the organisers are planning two weeks of events, conferences, debates and, of course, the Rainbow Parade on Saturday 15th June.

  – More information on the EuroPride 2019 website
  – Join the Facebook Group for EPOA members

Please share information about EuroPride 2019 on your Pride’s website and social media channels – we’d love to see crowds of European Pride organisers there in this momentous year!

WorldPride – New York, 1-30 June

As we mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, it’s fitting that WorldPride takes place in New York. There will be events throughout June, but the March will take place on Sunday 30th June.

  – Visit the WorldPride 2019 website

EPOA Conference & AGM – Bilbao, 20-22 September

In a break with tradition, this year our Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Conference take place not in the next city to host EuroPride, but in Bilbao, as voted by our AGM last year. We have listened to your feedback and will be including more seminars, discussions and plenary sessions, and with at least four Prides bidding for EuroPride 2022, it’s going to be an exciting and interesting AGM!

Early bird rates are €280 including two nights’ accommodation, meals and all events.

  – Early registration for the AGM & Conference
  – AGM & Conference website

A discount for our AGM is available for delegates who are also attending the InterPride World Conference the following month.

InterPride World Conference – Athens, 17-20 October

InterPride’s World Conference returns to Europe this year, and is hosted by our member Athens Pride. It’s a great opportunity to meet Pride organisers from across the world, and participate in the vote to select the host of WorldPride 2023.

The conference fee is €195, rising to €220 from 1 February, excluding hotel. The Conference hotel rates start at €176 per night.

  – Early registration closes 31 January
  – World Conference website

Marsz Równości w Gnieźnie will go ahead

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Marsz Równości w Gnieźnie will go ahead

Brussels, 11 April 2019

The decision by the President of the Polish city of Gniezno to ban a Pride march (Marsz Równości w Gnieźnie) scheduled to take place on Saturday has been struck down by a court in Poznań this morning.

Responding to the ruling, President of the European Pride Organisers Association Kristine Garina said

“We are delighted that the court has seen sense and has upheld Polish values and their citizens’ freedom to organise peaceful assembly.

“This is not the first time that a Polish court has upheld the right to hold an Equality March, but we hope this is the last time it is necessary. Opponents of LGBTI equality and human rights need to get the message that it’s time to stop attempting to ban these events.

“Authorities in Gniezno must now ensure Saturday’s event can take place peacefully and safely, despite the threats from thugs and others who oppose equality.”

Ms Garina had written to President Budasz on Monday to challenge his ban, citing case law from the European Court of Human Rights alongside the Polish Constitution. Read the letter here.

Ban on Marsz Równości w Gnieźnie is illegal

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Ban on Marsz Równości w Gnieźnie is illegal

Brussels, 8 April 2019

The President of the Polish city of Gniezno has banned the Pride event due to take place this weekend. The decision is illegal, contravening both a European Court of Human Rights judgment and the Constitution of the Republic of Poland.

Kristine Garina, President of the European Pride Organisers Association, has written to the city’s President urging him to reconsider. The letter states:

Your decision breaches fundamental freedoms and human rights of LGBTI people in Gniezno, and presents a poor impression of Poland across the world.

As you will be aware, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2007 in the case of Poland v Backowski that the banning of a Pride march in Warsaw was a breach of Articles 11, 13 and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights. In addition, Article 57 of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland also provides protection for citizens and allows them the freedom to organise peaceful assembly.

Peaceful, successful Pride marches have taken place in Poland for many years, including EuroPride Warsaw in 2010. There is no justification for restricting the right of LGBTI people in Gniezno – or anywhere in Poland – to come together peacefully and to hold a Pride event. The only possible reason for attempting to ban such an event is homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.

We urge you to reconsider your illegal decision, allow the event to take place this weekend, and commit to ensuring that police and other authorities provide appropriate protection to ensure the safety of the participants.

We will continue to monitor the situation in the coming days, and offer our full support to the organisers.

Read the full letter here.

Lublin’s Equality March must go ahead

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The first ‘Marsz Równości’ (Equality March) scheduled to take place in the city of Lublin, Poland, this weekend has been cancelled, after the city’s mayor cited ‘security concerns’.

Marsz Równości on Facebook

According to news reports, regional governor, Przemysław Czarnek, appointed by the ruling Law & Justice (PiS) party, called on Mayor Krzysztof Żuk to cancel the event. Czarnek accused equality demonstrators of “deviance” and “perversion” and said the march promotes “sexual behaviour incompatible with nature” and “pedophilia”, according to the Poland in English website.

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

“It is deeply depressing that we keep having to have the same conversations about Poland. Opposition to equality marches in Poland has found its way into European case law on the freedom of assembly, and you would think that eight years after Warsaw hosted EuroPride, attitudes would be changing.

But this is not the case. The Equality March this weekend must be allowed to go ahead. Right-wing and homophobic city officials like Mayor Żuk must realise they cannot stand in the way of LGBTI people’s human rights, even when elections are approaching. We will be watching to see what happens this weekend and we demand that this unlawful ban is lifted.”

The European Pride Organisers Association, the international NGO that licences EuroPride and supports the development of the Pride movement in Europe, will be monitoring developments in the coming days.

Further information: Visit the organisers’ Facebook Page and the Facebook Event for the Equality March.

Media enquiries: Please email epoa.eu@gmail.com or call +44 77 29 24 29 46. Interviews can be arranged with EPOA spokespeople.

Annual Report 2018

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Ahead of the Association’s Annual General Meeting, the Board have published their Annual Report. The Report details the activities undertaken since the 2017 AGM in pursuit of the Association’s aims.

Click here to read the Annual Report

The Association has had a productive year, marked by an impressive increase in membership numbers, with a 40% increase over the last twelve months. Our external communications have also seen substantial increases in audience and reach, and EPOA has begun to successfully position itself as the lead organisation to comment on issues related to LGBTI Pride across Europe.

The Board’s achievements sit alongside a hugely successful EuroPride, which for the first time took place in two cities, Stockholm and Gothenburg in Sweden.

The Annual Report will be presented to members at the AGM for approval, alongside a Workplan for the year ahead.