Serbia cancels EuroPride event — Analysis

The pan-European LGBTQ festival has been postponed until “happier times,” President Aleksandar Vucic says

Serbia made the decision to “cancel or postpone” a EuroPride event that was due to take place in the Balkan country’s capital, Belgrade, in mid-September, President Aleksandar Vucic announced on Saturday.

“This is a violation of minority rights, but at this moment the state is pressured by numerous problems,”Vucic made these remarks during a press conference.

President explained that threats from right-wing extremists, as well fears for violence, prevented the LGBTQ Festival, which occurs in several European cities every year, from moving forward.

“It’s not a question of whether they [the extremists] are stronger, but you just can’t do it all at the same moment, and that’s it,”Vucic spoke. “I am not happy about it but we can’t manage.”

In Belgrade, hundreds of protestors demanded that the EuroPride festival be cancelled earlier this month. The messages were displayed on signs held by demonstrators: “We don’t want a gay paradeAnd occupation by the West!” and “Keep your hands off our children,”You can also find other useful information.

Serbia is a candidate for EU membership and has pledged to support LGBTQ rights during its integration in the bloc.

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It “problems”Vucic also mentioned the Kosovo crisis as well the possible winter energy shortages due the Russian gas supply cuts to Europe. These were both caused by Western sanctions against Moscow for its involvement in the military conflict in Ukraine.

President noted that “We don’t have any progress”Talks with Kosovo to discuss its decision not to allow Serbian IDs and license plates starting in September.

Vucic’s announcement has not stopped the EuroPride organizers from insisting that the EuroPride event will be held in Serbian capital.

“EuroPride in Belgrade will not be canceled and will bring together thousands of LGBTI+ people from across Europe,”Kristine Garina was the President of European Pride Organizers Association.

Garina also urged the Serbian authorities “stand firm against these bullies and protect the event.”

Vucic also revealed during the press conference that Ana Brnabic (Prime Minister) identifies herself as a lesbian and lives in a relationship with a woman partner. She will continue to lead the government following its formation last week.

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Brnabic has served as prime minister of the country since 2017. LGBTQ groups have previously accused him of failing to do enough for sexual minorities.

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