The voices calling for cancelling EuroPride 2022 in Belgrade are dangerous, European Parliament Rapporteur for Serbia Vladimir Bilčik said on Tuesday.
EuroPride is a pan-European event in the same vein as LGBT Pride but hosted by a different European city each year. Serbia was chosen for the 2022 event, scheduled for the second week of September, but it has been met with opposition.
Bilčik said that if the event was not held as scheduled, it would have an important place in his report on Serbia to the European Parliament, adding he believed that other EU institutions would also react.
“This year, it will be a special Pride as it will have a strong European dimension. So, all those voices I consider dangerous. They obviously do not want to see Serbia making progress on its EU path, they do not want to see Serbia’s EU future,” Bilčik told Radio Free Europe.
Belgrade Mayor Aleksandar Šapić has said he would oppose an event like EuroPride also “if it was organised by heterosexuals,” but has added that the City of Belgrade, in case the event is held, will ensure community order.
Speaking to Prva TV, Šapić said that the problem was not the holding of EuroPride or expression of sexual orientation, but “how it looks like,” adding that “it is at odds with some of our traditional values.”
Belgrade will be the first city in Southeast Europe and the first outside the European Economic Area to host a major event for the pan-European LGBT community.
Some conservative and right-wing parties, associations, and groups have already demanded the event be cancelled.
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