12 October 2023

Organisers of LGBTI+ Pride events from more than 20 countries will gather in Cardiff this weekend (13-15 October) for their annual conference.

One hundred and thirty participants representing more than 60 organisations will attend the annual general meeting of the European Pride Organisers Association. Although the Association traces its roots back to London in 1992, the annual meeting has never before been held in the United Kingdom. Pride Cymru will host the meeting at the Leonardo Hotel in the Welsh capital.

Delegates will join in debates on LGBTI+ equality and human rights and share tips and experiences from running their events. The First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, will welcome participants during the opening session on Friday. He is expected to repeat his aim for Wales to become the best place in Europe to be LGBTI+.

First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, said: “We have a bold and ambitious LGBTQ+ Action Plan and an ambition to make Wales the most LGBTQ+ friendly nation in Europe. This conference is an opportunity to share the knowledge and experience that Pride organisers bring from across Europe. We welcome you all here to Cardiff.”

Kristine Garina, President of the European Pride Organisers Association, said: “We are delighted and very excited to be coming to Cardiff for our annual meeting. I know from previous visits how welcoming and hospitable the city is and I look forward to hearing the First Minister of Wales on his ambition for the country to be a leader on LGBTI+ equality. Sadly the record of the UK government and the rhetoric of Cabinet ministers in London is a major challenge to this ambition.”

Kristine Garina, who steps down as President this weekend after eight years in the role, is expected to make a speech highly critical of the UK government after the UK has fallen from first place to seventeenth place in Europe, as she also highlights increasing hostility and challenges faced by LGBTI+ communities across Europe. The First Minister will speak immediately after Garina.

Gian Molinu, Chair of Pride Cymru, said: “We are delighted to welcome our European family to Cardiff. We are excited to show them that despite the increasing hostility towards the LGBTI+ community we see in the UK, Wales is determined to chart a different course. We work in social partnership with our Welsh Government collaboratively on making Wales the best place to be part of the LGBTI+ community and it is only fitting we are hosting this year’s annual meeting in the beacon of hope that Wales is”.

Pride Cymru won the right to host the event after beating a bid from Riga Pride in Latvia at last year’s meeting in Turin, Italy. This conference will also decide on next year’s venue, with bids from Copenhagen Pride in Denmark and Porto Pride in Portugal. Results of all voting will be known on Saturday.

Participants include representatives of Kyiv Pride in Ukraine, and Tbilisi Pride in Georgia which this year was attacked by far-right thugs while police stood by.

Contact information

For European Pride Organisers Association Steve Taylor, steve.taylor@europride.info Interviews can be arranged with Kristine Garina between 13-16 October

For Pride Cymru Dan Walsh, Dan@pridecymru.com

Photo Norbu Gyachung on Unsplash