EuroPride is set to take legal action against Serbia for cancelling the event’s upcoming Pride march on 17 September.
Back in 2019, Belgrade, Serbia secured the coveted hosting duties of EuroPride after a landslide vote.
“This event will be of substantial importance when it comes to promotion of the respect of human rights of the LGBTQ+ community and all citizens of Serbia,” said the country’s lesbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić at the time.
However, since the end of August, the event has been riddled with numerous setbacks.
On 29 August, Serbian President Aleksander Vučić shocked the European LGBTQ+ community after he cancelled the highly anticipated event.
“The Pride parade that was scheduled for the month of September will be postponed or cancelled, or whatever that miracle is called, it doesn’t matter.”
Vučić also cited tensions with Kosovo, economic uncertainty, and threats from anti-LGBTQ+ extremist groups as part of the decision to cancel EuroPride.
On 13 September, the Serbian police confirmed the event’s cancellation when they announced their own ban on the parade’s route – which was due to “security concerns.”
Over the last several weeks, far-right groups and religious organisations have voiced their opposition to the aforementioned event – with some even threatening violence against the community.
Police bans EuroPride 2022 March
Today, on September 13, the Serbian Police banned this year’s EuroPride March, by handing over the official notice to the organizers. Belgrade Pride will use all available legal means to overturn this decision. Expect more information soon. pic.twitter.com/4FuJUihBTC
— Belgrade Pride – EuroPride 2022 (@belgradepride) September 13, 2022
In response to the recent cancellation, EuroPride officials announced plans to take legal action against Serbia’s Police force.
“Police have denied the appeal against the ban. Belgrade Pride are now preparing the case for the Serbian Administrative court,” they revealed via Twitter. “We will never let hate win.”
In addition to the legal news, the organisation also set up a petition which calls for President Vučić and Prime Minister Ana Brnabic to retract the ban and allow the EuroPride march to go ahead.
“We, at Belgrade Pride and the European Pride Organisers Association, are asking the President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić to support hosting the EuroPride 2022 in Belgrade, and Prime Minister of Serbia Ana Brnabić to fulfil her commitment, which would prove their devotion to equality and human rights in the country they are leading,” the group said in a statement.
As of this writing, the online petition has nearly reached its goal of 30,000 signatures.
For 30 years, EuroPride has been lauded as the biggest Pride celebration in Europe.
Since 1992, the beloved event has been hosted in various metropolitan cities, including London, Madrid, Amsterdam, Berlin, Rome, Paris, and Manchester.
In addition to the traditional Pride format, the weeklong festival also includes larger-than-life opening and closing ceremonies, an HIV vigil, a human rights conference and an array of activities.