ILGA’s European annual conference in Budapest a success!
On 27-31 October 2004, more than 220 activists from all over Europe gathered in Budapest for the 26 th ILGA European Conference.
The conference theme was “Coming Out to the EU”. Europe has witnessed fundamental changes over the past few years. Undoubtedly one of the key developments has been the enlargement of the European Union and strengthening its relationships to neighbouring regions. To highlight these developments the conference was organised in Hungary in cooperation with the Háttér Support Society for LGBT People. Ms Kinga Göncz, the Hungarian Minister of Equal Opportunities and Mr. Joop Verboom, representative of the Dutch EU Presidency greeted the conference.
During more than 30 workshops, caucuses and open sessions, the delegates discussed a whole range of issues such as reporting human rights violations and the Brazilian resolution, the future of EU anti-discrimination legislation and policies and the specific needs of members in Eastern Europe, ILGA-Europe Strategic Plan and development, fundraising and capacity building, addressing homophobic violence and transgender issues.
The conference took place during a historical event of the European Commission President Mr Barroso withdrawing his proposal for the Commission from the approval vote by the European Parliament. The delegates overwhelmingly expressed their support for Mr Barroso’s decision by signing a petition addressed to Mr Barroso as well as Mr Borrell, President of the European Parliament, heads of political groups at the European Parliament and heads of the EU member states.
The conference has also elected a new ILGA-Europe Board: Maxim Anmeghichean (GenderDoc-M, Moldova), Vera Cimpeanu (Accept, Romania), Riccardo Gottardi (Arcigay, Italy), Tatjana Grief (SkuC-LL, Slovenia), Deborah Lambillotte (Holebifederatie, Belgium), Jackie Lewis (UNISON, UK), Pierre Serne (Commission LGBT des Verts, France), and Nigel Warner (Stonewall, UK). Reserve Board members elected are Philipp Braun (LSVD, Germany), Vanja Hamzic (Bosnia Herzegovina), Inge-Lise Paulsen (LBL, Denmark), and Maya Salvado (APGL, France). The conference also confirmed Jackie Lewis (UNISON, UK) and Yves De Matteis (360, Switzerland) as representatives of ILGA-Europe on the Executive Board of ILGA. Reserve representatives of ILGA-Europe on the Executive Board of ILGA are Grade Schadee (AOb Homoseksueel Onderwijspersoneel, Netherlands) and Janfrans Van Der Eerden (COC Nedeland, Netherlands).
Full conference report will be available on our website: www.ilga-europe.org
The next ILGA European conference in 2005 will take place in Paris, France and the conference voted to have 2006 conference in Sofia, Bulgaria.