Wednesday

8th Feb 2023

MEPs demand Serbia not cancel Pride march

  • Green MEPs in 2020 demonstrating their support for LGBTQI rights (Photo: Greens-EFA Group in the European Parliament)
Listen to article

Scores of European lawmakers are demanding Serbia allow an LGBTI march to take place in Belgrade.

Their demand follows Serbia's president Aleksandar Vučić's announcement at the weekend that the so-called EuroPride scheduled for September would be "cancelled or postponed".

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Vučić blamed a tense border stand-off with Kosovo for the move, despite the two sides reaching a recent deal on one of the two contentious issues.

But some 145 MEPs across the major political groups on Wednesday (31 August) have since sent Vučić and prime minister Ana Brnabić a letter asking them to reconsider and to deploy police security at the event.

"We are aware that there are threats to the security of protestors, yet we maintain that banning this event outright is not the right solution," states the letter.

Luxembourg's socialist Marc Angel, who co-chairs a European Parliament group working on LGBTI issues, said Serbia's Brnabić had also promised full support for the organisers. "We therefore simply call on that promise to be fulfilled," he said.

Foreign affairs ministers speak out

European foreign affairs ministers have also chimed in, demanding the parade take place.

"We do not agree with the stance of the Serbian president," said the Czech Republic's minister Jan Lipavský.

Sweden's foreign minister Anne Linde said hosting EuroPride "is an honour" and a demonstration for human rights.

Norway's Anniken Huitfeldt also offered her support to "encourage Serbia to facilitate Europride 2022 in Belgrade".

"Disheartened by Serbia's decision to cancel the @EuroPride 2022," said Jeppe Kofod of Denmark.

EuroPride event organisers have also refused to stand down. In a statement, they said the march will continue as planned on 17 September.

"Neither the hosts of EuroPride 2022, Belgrade Pride, nor us as the licensor will cancel EuroPride in Belgrade," said EuroPride president Kristine Garina.

EU Commission still assessing Hungary's anti-LGBTI law

In response to the EU probe, Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán's government called for a referendum on the anti-LGBTI legislation, but it failed to to muster enough votes earlier this month to be valid.

MEPs to declare EU an LGBTI 'freedom zone'

The symbolic move is an attempt to buttress against right-wing governments' increased scapegoating of LGBTI people, particularly in Poland and Hungary.

Opinion

How can Serbia ban EuroPride yet still hope to join EU?

Bowing to pressure from radical-nationalist groups and the deeply-conservative Orthodox Church, Serbian president Aleksandar Vučić announced last week EuroPride 2022 would be cancelled –– even though he legally lacks the authority to do so.

Feature

Eleven suicides daily — Spain's not-so-silent pandemic

With the emergence of the pandemic, Spain's suicide figures have worsened, bringing to the surface the long waiting times, the lack of health personnel, and the absence of a national suicide prevention plan.

Analysis

MEPs push for greater powers for workers' councils

European Works Councils can play a key role for workers and their unions to bargain effectively — but what are they, why have they been neutered, and why is big business objecting to greater powers?

Latest News

  1. Polish MEP also went on freelance Azerbaijan trip
  2. Why Europe's interminable compromises are a virtue
  3. Wales' message to Europe: 'We'll be back'
  4. MEPs to vote on risky 'hydrogen for home heating' rule
  5. The man who won't stop filing info requests until every EU doc is public
  6. EU hands Libya coast guard boats ahead of migration summit
  7. Eleven suicides daily — Spain's not-so-silent pandemic
  8. The return of Lula means now is the time for EU-Mercosur deal

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EFBWWEU Social Dialogue review – publication of the European Commission package and joint statement of ETUFs
  2. Oxfam InternationalPan Africa Program Progress Report 2022 - Post Covid and Beyond
  3. WWFWWF Living Planet Report
  4. EFBWWEFBWW Executive Committee report on major abuses, labour crime and subcontracting
  5. European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual & Reproductive Rights (EPF)Launch of the EPF Contraception Policy Atlas Europe 2023. 8th February. Register now.
  6. Europan Patent OfficeHydrogen patents for a clean energy future: A global trend analysis of innovation along hydrogen value chains

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us