We might be based in Brussels but that doesn’t mean we only organise events aimed at those in the Belgian capital. ILGA-Europe can respond to the common needs of activists based in different countries by organising trainings, study visits and other types of regional sessions.
Another of our responsibilities is to connect the dots and monitor trends developing in various parts of Europe. In order to create meaningful change for LGBTI people, we have to tailor our reaction to the specific needs of the LGBTI movement at a particular moment in time. In close cooperation with our member organisations, we evaluate if an event is required – and if so, what the topic and aim would serve the purpose best for each of these regional interventions.
Training events allow activists to come together to plan how the LGBTI movement can more efficiently push for change. They give our member organisations time and space to exchange knowledge and good practices with each other. Regional trainings have proven to be a useful way for our members to make contact with other actors who share the same political, geographical or/and historical context as them. This can include journalists, lawyers, health care and education professionals, psychologists, writers, as well as family members and friends of LGBTI people.
The methodology used for training sessions varies greatly. However all ILGA-Europe’s trainings share two main components: knowledge-sharing and peer learning. These factors are especially relevant for regional trainings, where participants usually have a shared understanding of the region’s political/cultural/social context.
So how are participants selected? It is our job to ensure that shared challenges are addressed as effectively as possible. We want to make sure that the people most affected by a particular trend are involved in finding a solution. ILGA-Europe advertise our training opportunities through open calls. Participants are selected based on the quality of their applications (which are assessed using the criteria set for the individual training).
ILGA-Europe is committed to reaching out beyond our membership to identify relevant partners and supporters.
It’s no secret that the European institutions can seem very confusing. With their conventions, recommendations and directives, they can feel removed from the reality of LGBTI activists working on the ground.
For decades, ILGA-Europe have worked closely with European institutions and we have been instrumental in the setting high standards for the protection of LGBTI people. However, these great standards are useless if they are not promoted and implemented. By bringing activists to Brussels to meet with European officials, we create the links between the decision makers and the work of national activists. Study visits raise awareness amongst policy makers about the realities of LGBTI people and deepen their understanding of the key issues faced by the LGBTI movement.
Before each study visit officially begins, we work intensively with the visiting group of activists so they are fully prepared for their meetings. This preparatory work means that activists will gain a thorough understanding of how European institutions work and makes sure that the meetings can be as productive as possible.