Study visit of LGBT activists from the Western Balkans and Turkey to the institutions of the European Union, Brussels, June  2010.

The aim of this study visit was to inform activists about work of the EU institutions, as well as the possibilities of advocacy that these institutions hold.

Activists presented to the EU officials the position and the obstacles faced by LGBT communities in their countries. The study visit included representatives of partner organizations on the project from Croatia (Kontra), Albania (Aleanca), Montenegro (Juventas) and Serbia (Labris), and representatives of the Turkish organization Pembe Hayat.

During the visit, the activists participated in the consultations related to the European Commission Progress Report for 2010, they were introduced with the work of the Intergroup on LGBT rights within the European Parliament and met with MEPs. Participants had opportunity to exchange conversation with relevant representatives of the Belgian Permanent Representation to the EU and the Department of Human Rights within the Secretariat-General for External Relations of the European Commission.

Study visit to the EU institutions and training on strategic litigation for LGBT activists in the field of human rights in the Western Balkans and Turkey

Brussels, from 10th to 14th May 2011

This year, ILGA-Europe has organized a study visit to the EU institutions and training on strategic litigation for nine activists in the field of human rights of LGBT people from the Western Balkans and Turkey.

The aim of this study visit is to educate activists on the work of the European Union institutions, but also on the possibilities of representation that these institutions hold. Also, activists presented to the EU officials the position and the obstacles faced by LGBT communities in their countries.

During the visit, activists from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey, met with the Commissioner Füle’s Deputy, but also with relevant representatives of the European External Action, the Secretariat-General of Justice, the  Secretariat-General of expansion and the European Commission. The activists also participated in the consultations related to European Commission progress report in 2011 and had individual meetings with representatives of the Secretariat-General for Joining in charge of their country. They have been introduced with the work of the Intergroup for LGBT Rights in the European Parliament, as well as the Secretariat of the European network of bodies responsible for equality.

The study visit was followed by a two-day training on strategic litigation.

The training is aimed at providing participants with sufficient knowledge on strategic litigation, in order to be integrated in a later period into their representation plan. During the training activists learn all about the concept of strategic disputes, ways of using the new anti-discrimination laws adopted in their countries, how to collect evidence of the existence of discrimination, and work with bodies of the organizations responsible for equality. Also, to activists were presented relevant cases of the European Court of Human Rights, in particular those related to freedom of assembly, speech and hate crimes, and transgender issues. Especially were processed details of the work on cases under the European Court of Human Rights. The training was made up of presentation of the trainers, followed by practical exercises, case studies and discussions.