LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

A timely sign of solidarity from the European Commission

On Saturday (6 August), the world-famous canal parade will take place in Amsterdam as the city plays host to EuroPride 2016.

ILGA-Europe board and staff have been attending Pride marches and rallies across the continent this summer from Kyiv and Budapest to Gdansk and Istanbul. All are very different events with their own history and particular challenges for the local LGBTI community.

The support of close friends is vital during uncertain times. As a result, we are encouraged by the European Commission’s public commitment to LGBTI equality and their official presence at EuroPride’s parade for the first time. The Commission will also launch their awareness-raising campaign ‘We all share the same dreams’ during the EuroPride celebrations.

“Commissioner Jourová is a valuable ally for the European LGBTI movement and ILGA-Europe are pleased to see such an open statement of solidarity.” said ILGA-Europe Executive Director Evelyne Paradis, speaking ahead of the canal parade in Amsterdam.

“Even when we consider all these advances made towards equality for LGBTI people, the fact remains that having a top level official representing the European Commission at a Pride parade is significant. Commissioner Jourová’s ongoing support and the backing of the entire Commission will be key as we work to ensure these equality gains made in the European Union, and beyond, are protected as well as further advanced.” continued Evelyne Paradis.

As ILGA-Europe mentioned in our article for the official EuroPride 2016 magazine, well-organised and protected Prides are a given in certain European countries. But in others, Pride events (or the absence of) are a potent reminder of the people within the LGBTI movement who need to be recognised and better protected.

That is why is Commissioner Jourová’s visible presence at EuroPride is important. ILGA-Europe look forward to building on this proactive step with the current Commission over the rest of its mandate.

ILGA-Europe wish everyone at EuroPride in Amsterdam a wonderful and happy Pride weekend!