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Bergen, Brussel, Hamburg og Thessaloniki slåss om muligheten til å arrangere EuroPride i 2020. Avgjørelsen faller i Göteborg til helgen.

Lørdag 23. september blir det avgjort hvem som får arrangere EuroPride i 2020. Det er under The European Pride Organisers Association (EPOA) sin generalforsamling i Göteborg.

Alle pridearrangørene har sendt inn søknader til EPOA for å sikre EuroPride til sin by. Bergen Pride har laget en solid søknad utformet som et magasin med Bergens skeive historie og pridehistorie.

Tommel opp fra ordføreren
Det var under Regnbuedagene 2016 at ordfører Marte Mjøs Persen kunngjorde at byrådet skulle fremme Bergens kandidatur som vertsby for EuroPride 2020. Søknaden ble støttet av et samlet byråd og er et av mange elementer i «Regnbuebyen Bergen – Plan for kjønns- og seksualitetsmangfold 2017-2021.»

Det er derfor naturlig at Bergen Prides søknad åpner med en anbefaling fra ordfører Mjøs Persen, som legger vekt på byens lange erfaring med store og internasjonale arrangementer.
«Bergen seeks to lead by example, and bringing the festival here would strongly strengthen both the political and social work for issues regarding sexual and gender diversity in Norway, as well as abroad,» skriver Mjøs Persen i anbefalingen fra Bergen kommune.

Festivalsjef for Bergen Pride, Joakim Aadland forteller til Blikk Nett at det er lagt ned mye arbeid i søknaden.
– Vi startet prosessen umiddelbart etter at Regnbuedagene var ferdig i 2016. Siden den gang har vi hatt jevnlige møter med myndighetene i Bergen. Blant annet dro vi sammen med Mjøs Persen til EuroPride i Amsterdam i 2016 for å legge planer og finne ut hvordan et slikt stort arrangement bør gjennomføres i Bergen.

I EuroPrides 25 år lange historie har det bare én gang tidligere vært kamp mellom fire europeiske byer om å få arrangementet. Ifølge EPOA er årets kamp den hardeste noensinne.

Representanter fra alle de håpefulle vertsbyene vil være tilstede på EPOAs generalsforsamling i Göteborg til helgen og den endelige avgjørelsen faller lørdag 23. september. EPOAs president Kristine Garina, som arrangerte EuroPride i Riga, Latvia i 2015, ser fram til en spennende kamp til helgen.
– Pride er en menneskerettighetsbevegelse som endre liv. Pride synliggjør alle sider ved lhbtqi-miljøet og er en pådriver for endring, noe som er viktig i en verden som lir mer og mer intolerant. Pride kunne ikke vært mer relevant eller mer viktig enn akkurat nå. Bredden i de fire søknadene viser viktigheten av EuroPride, sier Garina i en pressemelding fra EPOA.

De fire håpefulle vertsbyene og arrangørene har lagt inn sine endelige kommentarer før helgens avstemming. Les dem her på Blikk Nett.

Joakim Aadland, Bergen Pride:
Bergen is one of Norway’s most culturally diverse cities, packed with history and tradition. The city’s culture and amazing scenery will help to create a EuroPride that will stand out, and we will use our political commitment to work on improving the rights of all LGBTI people in Europe.

During the recent years we have all witnessed political movements and extremist groups in Europe trying to create division among minorities. Common for these are their hatred against a diverse and open society. Bergen will use its position as a city in one of the most gender equal and progressive countries in the world, to create a platform against these extremist threats that are trying to divide us.

Our slogan is ‘United by Pride’ and a EuroPride in Bergen will be noticeable all over Europe and hopefully unite minorities in a common fight against hate and segregation.

If Bergen gets the opportunity to host EuroPride we would be the smallest host city ever, and we would use this to our advantage. This way we can send a signal throughout Europe that no matter the size of your community, you can be a part of a movement making a change.

Marian Lens, Belgian Pride:
Brussels is the second most diverse city in the world, and for us that’s more than just a statistic. Walking through its streets and riding its tramways, you hear every possible language around you, you feel intensely its cosmopolitan character. People are truly open-minded and respect others for who they are. What better place to organise a global event, rich in human values, such as EuroPride!

EuroPride 2020 should come to the European capital for a very important reason: it will be the first under the new EU Commission, after the European elections. Apart from having a great and colourful celebration, we will create a true activist event, involving LGBTI movements across the continent. Europe should be at the forefront once again of ensuring freedom, respect for human rights and equality among its own member states and at the international level.

Only in Brussels can we involve Europe in such an intensive way, and drape its new policy makers in rainbow colors. With the success and reputation of Belgian Pride, known for its inclusivity, it’s now time for EuroPride to come to ours and Europe’s capital for the first time. Let’s make it happen!

Nicole Schaening, Hamburg Pride:
United in Pride’, is the motto of Hamburg’s bid for EuroPride 2020 and we invite the European LGBTI community to gather in Hamburg. It is a perfect place to host this event: as a port city, Hamburg is a gateway to the world with an open spirit. The Hamburg city Parliament supported the application with a unanimous decision and thus EuroPride 2020 becomes a matter for the entire city.

As passionate Europeans and as a queer community, we are part of the broader community of shared values which is currently facing major political and social challenges. EuroPride 2020 gives the opportunity to discuss issues relating to diversity, acceptance and equality in Europe on a major public stage. Our bid includes an international human rights conference that shall shift focus on LGBTI issues. An outreach programme enables activists from as many countries as possible to speak up for human rights. Also, a EuroPride Village in the heart of the city gives space to Europe’s queer organisations to present their cause. With a year-round events programme, 2020 will be the Year of Pride in Hamburg.

Fenia Kirkmali, Thessaloniki Pride:
2020 marks a new era for EuroPride and Thessaloniki marks a new region where EuroPride has never been hosted before. In Thessaloniki Pride, we envision EuroPride 2020 as the future where inclusion is the number one priority and we are bidding because we want to give the chance and offer the liberating experience of participation in EuroPride to LGBTI people from Greece, the Balkans, Turkey, LGBTI refugees and migrants, and other people who otherwise couldn’t participate.

It’s our strong belief that no matter someone’s financial situation, their background, the place they live or their refugee status, everyone should be able to join EuroPride. As the success of EuroPride is already certain in a region that needs it the most, EuroPride 2020 can accomplish its purpose because it will be used as a lever to promote LGBTI rights in Greece and support the whole Greek LGBTI community.

Most importantly, with the city being a crossroad of the Balkans, EuroPride in Thessaloniki will become a safe platform for everyone to freely express themselves and give voice to LGBTI people in all its neighbouring countries.

Next year’s EuroPride will take place in Stockholm and Gothenburg, Sweden, the first time it has been split between cities. In 2019 it will be in Vienna, Austria.

Blikk Nett vil streame avgjørelsen under EPOAs generalforsamling lørdag 23. september.