Call for Executive Committee Member

Following the news that Elena Petrovska is joining Secretariat, we are happy to announce a call for a new Executive Committee Member (EC) that will fill in the vacant spot and work with the rest of the EC until the next General Assembly (planned to take place in March 2021)!

Being a member of the Executive Committee is a demanding and time consuming role, but it is also very rewarding and brings experience in working in a multicultural environment, possibility to contribute to CDN’s future development and meet young Greens and other Green stakeholders across the Europe.

The Executive Committee tasks: 

  • Work on the implementation of CDN’s activity plan, approved by General Assembly (including project writing, coordination, implementation and reporting);
  • Constantly communicating and updating (as well as getting updates) from Member and Partner Organisations and Network Partners; 
  • Actively being involved and ensuring the smooth work-flow of the Working Groups; 
  • Representing and promoting CDN during its and partners’ activities as well as in the digital space; 
  • Answering on challenges and making decisions till the next GA, based on the CDN Strategy, Statement and CDN best interest;
  • Actively participating in the regular (biweekly) EC meetings (that usually last 2-3h);
  • Work on creating a new Strategy document (2022-2024) of CDN.

The candidate for the Executive Committee should be: 

  • Motivated to work in an international environment;
  • Dedicated to the goals of CDN and the Green Idea; 
  • Willing and available for traveling to CDN’s and partner’s activities in case epidemiological situation allows it;
  • Daily available on the e-mail for the ongoing discussions, work and decision making, together with regular (almost weekly) online conferences, meetings with the MOs and POs, WGs and CDN online events;
  • Flexible in working and implementing online as well as live activities.

More details about responsibilities of CDN EC members can be found in the CDN Statutes and CDN Internal Rules of Procedures

Since English is the official language we use in our work, all the candidates should have good command of English (written and spoken).

The candidacy should consist of: 

DEADLINE for sending applications to office@cdnee.org is September 27th, 23:59.

The vote by Member Organizations will take place on Balotilo platform in the beginning of October, upon the presentation of the candidates that will be scheduled to take place on Zoom platform on the 4th of October at 17h CET and where registered delegates of MOs will be able to ask questions to the candidates. After this, the MOs will have 1 week to cast the votes. Elected person will be co-opted to the EC immediately after the elections.

EC Candidate

Ivanna Madiar Application CV Support letter

Meet the CDN Project Assistant

As CDN office is getting bigger, we are happy to announce that the Secretariat will be joined by Elena Petrovska in the Project Assistant position.

Elena’s first encounter with the Green Youth movement dates back to 2017, when she first joined Serbian Green Youth. Afterwards, she’s been active as a Board member of SGY from 2018, and a member of its Secretariat from 2020. In march 2020, she joined the Executive Committee of CDN. Through these years, Elena’s interests and understanding of Green topics were growing, and she remains determined to fight climate and social injustices.

Welcome to the team Elena and we wish you a joyful Green ride with CDN!!!

CDN Executive Committee and Secretariat

Standing in solidarity with the people of Belarus

Last Sunday marked the fourth consecutive weekend of demonstrations in Belarus. Protests against Lukashenko’s rule have continued across Belarus since the 9th August, the date when presidential election took place. The election’s result was widely regarded as rigged, and rejected by the EU and US as neither free, nor fair. For the past three Sundays, the center of Minsk has been crammed with crowds of 100,000 to 200,000 protesters. Protests also took place in major cities throughout Belarus. These protests have been met with brutal police violence, political persecution of opposition figures and thousands of detention of free protesters. 

Pre-election

While the election date was approaching, opposition leaders and candidates were subjected to massive crackdown from Lukashenko’s rule. Given the political oppression, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya (main opposition candidate) entered the race following the arrest of her husband, who was blocked from registering as a candidate. The image of three independent women (Sviatlana and Veronika Tsepkalo, Maria Kolesnikova) brought hope to the Belarusian people for the August 9th elections.

Protest bringing all the communities together

Marches and demonstrations by women have become a frequent feature of the protests in Belarus. For the first time, supporters of LGBTQ+ rights appeared with rainbow flags in the women’s march in Minsk on Saturday.

Detentions and casualties

The interior ministry confirmed on Monday (7th September) that at least 633 arrests had been made across the republic. It said some 363 people had been sent to detention centers pending court hearings. Belarus police haven’t spared even the students. They marked the start of the academic year with protests against leader Lukashenko. Massive protests have recorded at least four casualties and hundreds injured as the government tries to halt the protests. 

Political persecution of opposition leaders

Belarusian authorities have recently targeted the opposition National Co-ordination Council, which was set up by opposition leader Tikhanovskaya to handle the transfer of power and includes figures from across society.  Government authorities have launched a criminal case against opposition leaders, saying the “creation and activity of the Co-ordination Council are aimed at the seizure of state power, and at harming national security”.
Another female activist, Olga Kovalkova, announced on previous week she had fled to Poland amid threats of imprisonment. She said that authorities had told her she would face further arrests if she did not leave the country.
Maria Kolesnikova is the last one left in Belarus of three female politicians who joined forces before the August 9th  election to challenge the  Alexander Lukashenko’s regime.
Kolesnikova was detained by masked men right after announcing that she was forming a new political party.  During last Sunday’s rally, she tried to enter the presidential palace to talk to the Belarusian leader but was told he would not negotiate with the opposition. An eyewitness reported to Belarus media that she saw masked men take Kolesnikova’s mobile phone and pushed her into a minibus on Monday (7th September) morning. Later on media reported that Kolesnikova was transported to the Ukrainian border and threatened that if she didnt leave the country, she would face imprisonment. She prevented the expelling by tearing up her passport. Together with her lawyer, Koleksnikova is opening a criminal case against KGB and Belarusian Security Forces. 

Internet shutdown and attack on media

The IT sector has been repeatedly undermined with the internet shutdowns, as a disruption form against the protesters. Additionally to these, the authorities in Belarus have revoked the accreditation for several journalists working for foreign media. Cases of deported were also recorded. 

EU stance 

EU leaders do not recognize the results of the election and have agreed to impose sanctions on Belarus authorities accountable for the violence against protesters. The Baltic nations of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia have blacklisted Lukashenko and 29 high-ranking officials in his administration. 

The strong reaction of “a strong” leader 

 The Belarus leader has denied accusations by the opposition and Western countries that the vote was rigged.  Lukashenko has accused Western nations of interfering,  in particular Poland and Lithuania, of trying to impose regime change. On at least two occasions he has been photographed near his residence in Minsk carrying a gun and being surrounded by his heavily armed security personnel.

Join our solidarity campaign:

What you can do: 

* take a picture holding a banner where it is written #FreeBelarus

* once you take the picture, publish it on social media. Make sure you tag CDN in the post (IG: @cdnee/ FB: @CDNEE)  

* Alongside with the picture, you can write a short solidarity statement.   

We will make sure we share and disseminate all these posts in CDN’s social media! Let’s show to the people in Belarus that they are not alone in their fight against police brutality and for free elections!    

Open call for Participants: Study Session “Work that Works for all: Shaping Europe’s Future of Work” (CANCELLED)

Cooperation and Development Network Eastern Europe (CDN) and Federation of Young European Greens (FYEG) are announcing a call for participants for the Study Session “Work that Works for all: Shaping Europe’s Future of Work”. The event will take place on 12-17 of October in European Youth Center Budapest (EYCB), Budapest, Hungary (11th and 18th are travel dates to and from Budapest for the participants).

With this activity we aim to empower 40 young Europeans in accessing their social rights – the right to decent work (the right to work, and the right to adequate social protection) and support them in becoming agents of change in their local communities through human rights education. This will be done by meeting the following objectives:

  • To explore the legal, structural and societal challenges and barriers young people face while accessing their right to decent work in different European countries;
  • To deepen participants’ understanding of youth unemployment and youth precarity, their social (political, economic) and individual (physical and mental health) consequences, and the intersection of these consequences;
  • To explore the existing opportunities and initiatives for young people in accessing meaningful work, adequate standard of living and social security, as well as to develop participants’ understanding and solidarity about the social and economic conditions their peers are facing;
  • To equip the participants and their organisations with the tools for countering the challenges and consequences of  inaccessible Social rights.

You can read more about the project on this page.

Who should apply?

We are looking for 35 young people, not older than 30, residing in one of the Council of Europe member states, Belarus or Kosovo*.

We encourage applications reflecting diversity in all forms; therefore we welcome applications from those who identify as women, LGBT+ people, people of color, with migration background or with a different ability.

Participants who have activism experience in working on the labor rights and policy making, as well as those interested in starting working on the topic and having high motivation to learn about the content of the Study Session are highly encouraged to apply.

Practicalities: 

Language: The main language of this activity will be English. But not being comfortable interacting in English should not prevent you from applying, majority of us at the event will be non-native speakers and the group will be able to help out if there is some term you might not know!

Costs: The full cost of working materials, visa and lodging (accommodation in multi-bed rooms, food and refreshments) during the event will be covered by the EYCB. The participation fee is EUR 50. For selection of travel means we encourage participants to combine the most economic and environmentally friendly way (lowest price + travel time + CO2 emissions). DEADLINE for submitting online applications: 31st of August 23:59 CEST. You will be informed about the results of the selection within two weeks after the deadline.

*All references to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.

 Apply here! 

Covid-19 update:

Due to the new measures against Covid-19 pandemic, this event together with other activities planned for this year in the European Youth Center in Budapest will be cancelled.

ELECTIONVISION – CALL FOR SPEAKERS

In 2020, we faced lot of changes. They were mainly related to the coronavirus pandemic and the results that it had on us, the democracy in the region and space that is left for us for fighting for our rights, but on other hand, in some countries of the Eastern Europe, there are bright political changes coming or have already come.

What is happening in one country, can also have an effect on the neighbouring countries.  To see how this affects the situation in the Eastern Europe, Cooperation and Development Network Eastern Europe (CDN) decided to hold a series of informal online discussions “Electionvision”  to share the impressions, experience and prognoses regarding the latest elections in the countries of CDN Member and Partner Organisations.

The meetings are expected to cover the following topics: pre-election situation, candidate`s’ campaigns, outcomes and many other.

The aim of this activity is to Politisize CDN Organisations and hang-arounds through the online meetings and sharing the impressions regarding the latest elections. We want to get to know the political situation on the local and national levels in different countries and be aware of the latest developments. This way we will be able to support each other, know what to expect from the political climate in the region and know our needs as a network better.

If there were or will be local, regional or national elections in your country, share interesting information about them with everyone! You can organise Electionvision before, or after the elections. All you need to do is to fill out this form and CDN EC will approach you with more information. The Electionvision will take place on Tuesdays at 18:00 CEST.

Call for Office Assistant

Cooperation and Development Network Eastern Europe (CDN) is announcing a call for a position of an Office Assistant in its office in Belgrade, Serbia. This is a paid, part time (30 hours a week) position beginning from the second half of August (starting date is flexible).

Working time: 30 hours/week, flexible working hours (some activities will take place during weekends which will be compensated within weekdays).

Remuneration: €540 gross

Contract type: 5 months with high probability of prolonging it until the end of 2021.

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

What is CDN?

CDN is a network of Green youth organizations from Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus. Currently CDN consists of 16 Member and 7 Partner Organisations as well as 4 working groups. The Network supports the development, cooperation and exchange of knowledge and skills between young people and their organisations and aims at enlarging the field of political work for Greens in Europe. CDN organises educational and capacity-building activities such as seminars, conferences and regional meetings and uses non-formal education to advance youth participation.CDN stands for gender equality, equal participation, diversity, inclusion, respect for minorities, environmental and climate justice, direct democracy and non-violence. Our Political Platform lays out the values which the Network bases its actions on.

What will be the role of Office Assistant?

CDN Secretariat at the moment consist of 3 people – Network Coordinator, Project Coordinator and Office Assistant. We are hereby opening a call for another Office Assistant that will be responsible for assisting in the financial management and other support in implementation of CDN’s projects. The Office Assistant will be working closely with Project Coordinator and will be reporting to both Project and Network Coordinator. The job will involve working with invoices, numbers, spreadsheets, reimbursement forms and project-related communication.

We are looking for someone with the following profile:

-Basic experience in administrative and financial work;

-Ability to work independently and good organization of one’s work;

-Attention to details, good ability to work with numbers and performing administrative tasks;

-Advanced use of (LibreOffice) Spreadsheets;

-Good computer skills and ability to use various softwares;

-Fluency in English language.

Skills that would be additional asset:

-Curiosity in Eastern European civil society and politics;

-Knowledge of Green movement and Green politics;

-Experience in managing finances of a non-governmental organization;

-Knowledge of BCMS (Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrin-Serbian) languages;

-Use of open-source software (Linux, WordPress, LibreOffice, etc.).

Responsibilities:

-Assisting CDN Secretariat in its daily management and implementation of CDN activity plan;

-Preparing project financial documentation in cooperation with the CDN Project Coordinator;

-Collecting and archiving financial documents (bills, invoices, receipts);

-Preparing invoices for third parties;

-Preparing bank transfers;

-Tracking project expenses in financial spreadsheets;

-Working on CDN’s bookkeeping together with CDN Secretariat;

-Assisting the CDN Secretariat with various financial and administrative tasks (reimbursements, reporting, etc);

-Assisting Project Coordinator in coordination of subgranting processes;

-Supporting Secretariat with ad-hoc tasks.

Please apply by sending your CV and short cover letter (explaining your experience and interest in this position) in one PDF document to office@cdnee.org by 23:59 31st July 2020, with the subject “CDN Office Assistant application”.  Shortlisted candidates will be notified and contacted for an interview in the first week of August.

Art for Freedom – call for the Local Actions

Cooperation and Development Network Eastern Europe and its Gender Working Group are happy to announce the third step of the annual work plan “Art for the Young, the Queer, the Feminists of Eastern Europe”. The call for local actions is an opportunity for the youth organisations or group of young people to submit the applications consisting of the Local Action Plans and Budget.

The 3rd part of the project, “Art for Freedom” aims to broaden the closed safe spaces of young women, transgender, non-binary, agender, gender queer, intersex, gay, lesbian, bi- and pansexual people by visibilizing their identities and struggles to wider public using non-formal education methods and art as a communication tool in order to challenge the accepted norms in the society.

Local art actions will serve the objectives of :

  • Mobilizing local young people of various genders and sexualities and get them motivated to reclaim their visibility in their local communities and hence combat exclusion;
  • Promote diverse arts as tools to combat sexism, misogyny, trans- and homophobia;
  • Point out the dominant and authoritarian powers that operate within the contexts on the local level, challenge them with local art actions and promote feminist, queer, youth activism.

The “Art for Freedom” Local Actions should:

  • Be visual and/or performing and alternative, non commercial art;
  • Be connected to the topic of the Work Plan ;
  • Have a clear Aim and Objectives;
  • Answer the needs of the local communities;
  • Involve young people of different backgrounds in the activity;
  • Have a clear message towards the stakeholders.

The Project Prepteam will decide on the grants to be allocated for each action. CDN offers maximum of 1200 EUR as a grant per action. The decision on the grants will be brought according to the feasibility of the action plan as well as the realistic assessment of the budget. It is highly recommended to sign up for the online course to be able to successfully implement the action from both topical and technical perspectives.

Responsibilities of the applicant in case of awarding the grant:

  • Kicking off the preparations for the LA in the beginning of December 2020;
  • Implementing the activity based on the sent application and recommendations of the Prepteam;
  • Finalizing the implementation of the activity in January 2021;
  • Financial and content reporting to CDN in February 2021;
  • Saving, organizing and sending all the bills, invoices and other proofs of payments connected to the project and reported in the financial report;
  • Sending both digital (scanned version) and original bills (paper) to CDN’s office in Belgrade;
  • Participating in the dissemination of the project;
  • Ensuring the visibility of the project, CDN and EYF. Namely using hashtags #cdnee and #eyfcoe, as well as adding the logos of both organisations on any material that will be produced at the local actions. Making and sending to CDN pictures and videos from the action with all the logos visible.

To apply for the grant, fill in the LOCAL ACTION APPLICATION form and draft a BUDGET for the activities. We will be accepting the applications starting from 12th of November 2020. Deadline for submitting the applications is 3rd of December 2020 23:59 CET. Please, consider, that any application sent before or after this will be disqualified.

Filled in files must be sent to project.coordinator@cdnee.org with Local Action Application in the subject of the e-mail. In case of questions, do not hesitate to contact Masha Pashkova-Dzneladze, CDN’s project coordinator at at the above-mentioned e-mail.

Only full applications (Application and budget proposals) will be considered by the PrepTeam. You will get the result and feedback approximately in a week after the deadline. Please add the above-mentioned e-mail in your contact list to avoid our mails ending up in spam.

Call for Participants for the online course  “Art for the Young, the Queer, the Feminists of Eastern Europe” [UPDATED]

Cooperation and Development Network Eastern Europe and it’s Gender Working Group are announcing a call Participants for the online course  “Art for the Young, the Queer, the Feminists of Eastern Europe”. 

The ongoing situation with COVID-19 pandemic is a challenge for activists around the world. Staying safe and taking care of regulations for prevention of further spread of the virus was and stays crucial. That being said, international activities of the Work Plan 2020 – “Art as a shelter: A room of our own” and  “The Good, the Bad, the Queer” are now moving to the online space.

The online course will be taking place on online learning platform of the Green European Foundation from September to October 2020. 

The course attendance is a precondition for applying for Local Actions subgrant funding. More about the Local Actions HERE.

Online course “Art for the Young, the Queer, the Feminists of Eastern Europe”  will aim to empower young people of various Genders and sexualities for broadening safe space and reclaiming private and political space through non-formal education and art. 

By providing the platform to discuss the shared experiences and counteracting strategies, we would like to contribute to the creation of inclusive and sensitive political environment by understanding power dynamics in patriarchal society and by empowering young women, LGBT+ youth, transgender, non-binary, agender, gender queer and intersex people and broaden safe space and claim more private and political space through art.

In order to do this through online course, we would like to:

  • Create online safe space for young activists of various genders and sexualities to share their experience and struggle;
  • Identify Women’s and queer community’s contemporary needs, expectations and challenges and exchange the good practices;
  • Build capacities of young people to challenge power relations and provide creative tools to stand up in their political struggle;
  • Empower young activists to stand up against prejudice, discrimination and violence;
  • Inspire young people for influencing gender sensitive politics through art.

The course will be based on the principles of non-formal education and intercultural learning. We strive for an active, inclusive environment for direct communication and sharing of knowledge. The sessions will be balanced between theoretical inputs, work in groups, discussions, and other interactive methods of non-formal learning that the online platform provides.

The course will be divided in 3 modules, in which participants will cover topics of Feminism, LGBT+ rights, learn about activism and political art, as well as basics of project management, advocacy and project writing that will serve as starting point for implementation of Local Actions. The course will be open for

–  young people of different Gender identities (except cis-gender male)

–  young people of different sexualities (except heterosexual).

Each of modules will concentrate on the examples and practices of the struggle of the given group of people, we will analyse the regional context, art, activism and political change examples and learn about the inspiring individuals. Then the participants will share personal experiences, support and solidarity and establish close co-operation on the local level.

Who should apply?

We are looking for young (till 30) women, lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, transgender, genderqueer, intersex, non-binary and agender people from Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Kosovo*, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine interested in looking for different usage for forms of art in confronting and questioning the existing power relations in the society that stress the importance of art, inclusivity and human rights, would like to contribute to the discussions with the local perspective and are willing to reproduce the gained knowledge on the local level. Participants who have experience in artivism, activism, gender and politics or have high motivation to learn about the topic are highly encouraged to apply. People with less experience on the topic are welcome to apply and get to know more about these topics.

Practicalities: 

Language: The main language of the course will be English.

Costs: The course will be free for all participants.

Technical requirements: Basic internet connection and PC or/and phone.

DEADLINE for submitting online applications: 25.07.2020 at 23:59 CEST

02.08.2020 at 23:59 CEST.

You will be informed about the results of the selection within two weeks after the deadline. Please add project.coordinator@cdnee.org to your contacts, so that you do not receive our reply in spam folder.

*All references to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.

Apply here:

This project is organised by the Green European Foundation with the support of CDNEE and with the financial support of the European Parliament to the Green European Foundation.

Open call for Participants: Youth training “Outsmarting the paradigm: Implementation of new technologies in the cities”

CDN – Cooperation and Development Network Eastern Europe is announcing a call for participants for the youth training “Outsmarting the paradigm: Implementation of new technologies in the cities“. The event will take place from 21 to 25 of September in Riga, Latvia (20 and 26 are travel dates to and from Riga for the participants).

This training aims to explore how technology impacts our cities and rethink the concept of smart cities from a Green perspective in the EE context.

This will be done through 1) Creation of a space for 25 young people to learn, share knowledge about and critically analyse the impact of new technologies in our cities; 2) Analysis of the Charter for the Smart City in relation to the Eastern European context and finally; 3) Creation of a manifesto on principles of new technologies’ implementation in the Eastern European cities. You can read more about the project on this page.

This project is a part of the GEF transnational project “A Charter for the Smart City II”.

Who should apply?

We are looking for 25 young people aged 16-35, residing in Central and Eastern Europe (Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Kosovo*, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, Ukraine).

We encourage applications reflecting diversity in all forms; therefore we welcome applications from those who identify as women, LGBT+, POC, migration background, or with a different ability.

Participants who have activism experience in working on the rights for the city and/or urban planning and policy making as well as those interested in implementation of new technologies in cities, as well as those with relevant knowledge or high motivation to learn about the topic are highly encouraged to apply.

Practicalities: 

Language: The main language of this activity will be English. But not being comfortable interacting in English should not prevent you from applying, majority of us at the event will be non-native speakers and the group will be able to help out if there is some term you might not know!

Costs: The full cost of working materials, visa and lodging (accommodation in multi-bed rooms, vegetarian food, and refreshments) during the event will be covered by the organizers. In exchange, we ask for a participation fee of 20 EUR for participants coming from non-EU countries and 40 EUR for participants coming from EU countries. Accommodation, food, working space, travel and visa costs for participants will be fully covered. For selection of travel means we encourage participants to combine the most economic and environmentally friendly way (lowest price + travel time + CO2 emissions). Applicants for whom paying this fee is an obstacle for participation, should still apply and mention this in their application (not a selection criteria). CDN will try to find a solution together with the applicant after the selection is finalized.  CDN will reimburse 90% of the travel costs for the participants from the non-EU countries and 80% of travel costs for the participants coming from the EU countries, within travel limits that will be sent out to the participants after selection (based on the actual, reasonable prices of the tickets) and within Europe, with the condition to combine the most economic and environmentally friendly way (lowest price + travel time + CO2 emissions). 

DEADLINE for submitting online applications: 19th of July 23:59 CEST. You will be informed about the results of the selection within two weeks after the deadline.

*All references to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.

This project is organised by the Green European Foundation with the support of CDNEE and Wetenschappelijk Bureau GroenLinks with the financial support of the European Parliament to the Green European Foundation.

 Apply here! 

Pride 2020: Our fight is one, our cause is common, our goal is liberation.

This Pride month 2020, as queer young Greens from CDN and FYEG, we take this moment to reflect on the world that we live in today, where we observe systemic issues becoming more apparent as we experience the COVID-19 pandemic, and support the Black Lives Matter protests. Allowing us to also question what Pride was yesterday, what it is today and what we can make of it tomorrow.

Questioning is not new for us. We, LGBTQIA people, continuously question, battle with, compare, and figure out who we are in comparison to the normative status quo. We deal with systematic oppressions, legal regressions, and violence against our transition-ing/ed bodies and expressions of genders, loves, and lusts – or lack thereof.

We live in a world where those in power, corporations, governments, mass media, and other institutions, continue to dictate who we should be by disseminating their propaganda in the education systems, cultural productions, ads and laws. The dominant forces on the top of world hierarchies have for centuries decided on the meanings of truth, economy and justice that only suited their own. We ended up with these flawed systems that supports profit over people, the systems of capitalism, white supremacy and hetero-cis-normativity.

This is why we must remember the origins of Pride. The first Pride was a riot against police oppression and state-sponsored violence against LGBTQIA people, started by Black and Latinx trans women, Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, in the U.S. – their power must continue to course through our veins as we celebrate global Pride this June.

Our fight is one, our cause is common, our goal is liberation. 

Lately, in Europe and beyond, we experience oppression, reminding us of the importance of Pride, including:

– The growth of the so-called “LGBT-free zone” municipalities in Poland, now almost a hundred, is spreading anti-LGBTQIA messages and agitating unprecedented violence against activists.

– The government of Boris Johnson discarding the plans to depathologise and facilitate the process of gender self-identification in the UK.

– The Hungarian government using as smoke screen the emergency measures related to COVID-19 to make it impossible for trans and intersex people to align their legal gender with their gender identity, replacing the characteristic “sex” for “sex assigned at birth” in official documents.

– In Georgia, the government continues to refuse to grant identification that recognises trans peoples’ gender identity, leaving them with no social protection. During the protests in Tbilisi, trans activist Madona Kiparoidze set herself on fire.

– The Romanian government have banned any theories or ideas that establish that gender identity is a separate concept from biological sex in education.

– Sarah Hegazy, a lesbian activist who was incarcerated and tortured in Egypt in 2017 for raising the rainbow flag during a concert in Cairo, committed suicide this month. She was suffering post-traumatic stress disorder caused by the humiliation and mistreatment she faced during her imprisonment.

However, we also experience and observe more positive currents of change, including:

– Scotland becoming the first country to include LGBT+ history and rights in schools

– The redefinition of traditional beliefs and discourses, like German bishops starting to accept non-heterosexual orientations and rejecting any form of discrimination against homosexual people.

– Celebrations of Pride, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, with messages of support and solidarity being shouted from balconies in Tirana, Albania.

The fight is far from over.

In a world where our stories are tokenised, where we are used and abused – let Pride be an open space of our own making, part celebration – part protest. Where we use our agency to demand rights, justice and equality for all LGBTQIA people, to break down and open borders that divide the haves and have-nots, to work in solidarity with anti-racist, feminist, and other movements to create a Europe that is truly welcoming and inclusive for all.

This is why, for global Pride 2020, we young greens from CDN and FYEG:

– recognise that the fight for LGBTQIA rights, equality and justice should not happen in isolation from other fights, including for climate justice and social justice;

– demand solidarity between movements and to fight together to topple the white-supremacist, patriarchal, capitalist, anti-trans and homophobic systems;

– acknowledge the often invisible work of trans- and cis- women, transgender men, non-binary people, genderqueer, intersex, asexual, aromantic, bisexual, and lesbians within our communities;

– promise to fight alongside LGBTQIA activists, in Azerbaijan, Poland, Hungary, England and other places, as they face new and old threats of violence against them;

– question and oppose the commercialisation of Pride and its symbols, and the abuse of LGBTQI stories for capital gain;

– remember and mourn all victims of fatal homophobic, biphobic and anti-trans violence – in all its forms – in Europe and beyond.