LGBTI Rights in Times of Populism – Liberal Ideas for a More Tolerant Europe

The time we live in is often described as a dark age for human rights where setbacks are being seen in field after field. Everything from freedom of speech, to the right to organise and to respect for minorities is being pushed back in favour of nationalistic and conservative ideals, populism and securitisation. However, there are beams of light to hold on to; the last decades have shown many examples of democratic advances globally, not least in terms of acceptance and tolerance for LGBTI rights.

We will hear more from the priest Cecilia Redner, representing the church of Sweden, who will tell the story of how her organisation became a religious community open for everyone. We will then listen to activists from Poland, Latvia and Ukraine giving their views on what positive signs there are in Central & Eastern Europe, how these can be capitalised on and how similar rapid transitions could be achieved also in their corners of our continent.

Europe has a new set of 751 elected representatives to look after our interests. But what influence does the EU have on LGBTI rights? And what can we expect from the movements and political formations that will take place in Brussels in the upcoming 5 years? This session will reflect on the political landscape of Europe and its actors and the current front lines of LGBTI politics. Our panelists come from different political camps and will share their varied outlooks on what is going on. Whatever differences, we hope this panel can give an insight into how the democratic movements of Europe can work better together and how to win over the enemies of an open society.

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