Strengthening LGBTIQ Self-Organizations in Central and Eastern Europe

The ILGA-Europe program, launched in 2022, provides structural support for LGBTIQ self-organizations in Central and Eastern Europe with a view to strengthening them in the long term. ILGA-Europe is the European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association. By partnering with ILGA-Europe, the EVZ Foundation can expand its ongoing commitment to LGBTIQ self-organizations in this part of Europe.

Funding Program

LGBTIQ persons were already persecuted under National Socialism and are still exposed to social exclusion, (structural) discrimination and state repression in many European countries today. This is clearly evident in ILGA-Europe’s Annual Report on the Human Rights Situation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex People (More information can be found at Rainbow Europe). Therefore, the EVZ Foundation has been committed to the equal rights of LGBTIQ persons and the strengthening of their rights for several years now.

In the Agenda for the Future, the EVZ Foundation has set the goal for the "Acting together with self-organizations" cluster to "support alliance building of LGBTIQ self-organizations in Eastern Europe with the majority society for protection against violence and repression and to strengthen their rights". Especially in times of frequent and unpredictable changes, it is important for LGBTIQ self-organizations to be able to rely on long-term financing, opportunities for networking and capacity building and a competent funder. This is exactly what the funding program is designed to facilitate. ILGA-Europe is responsible for the implementation of the program, tenders and project selection. Financing is provided by the EVZ Foundation.

Interview with Evelyne Paradis, ILGA-Europe

  1. 3 Questions for... Evelyne Paradis

    In this interview, Evelyne Paradis, Executive Director of ILGA-Europe, talks about the situation of LGBTIQ self-organizations in Central and Eastern Europe and what changes are needed to improve the situation of LGBTIQ communities.

Evelyne Paradis

In the current context of widespread scapegoating of LGBTI communities and active undermining of LGBTI activists and organisations across the region, the ability to provide flexible and multi-year funding is crucial, especially in countries where there are official attacks on LGBTI people occur in the broader context of democratic de-cline and growing authoritarian governments.
Evelyne Paradis
Executive Director of ILGA-Europe

About ILGA-Europe

ILGA-Europe is an independent non-governmental, umbrella organization uniting over 700 organizations from across Europe and Central Asia. ILGA-Europe sees its task in strengthening the LGBTIQ movement in various ways.

  • On the one hand, it brings together stakeholders from different sectors to create long-term and sustainable alliances and strategic partnerships.
  • ILGA-Europe seeks to amplify voices that are often not heard, thus advocating for equality and human rights at both national and European levels.
  • ILGA-Europe also strives to redistribute resources and knowledge within its network – for example, through funding opportunities and developing capacity-strengthening activities and resources.

More information on ILGA-Europe can be found here.

Commitment to LGBTIQ

In our Agenda for the Future, we have formulated the goal of working for the equal rights of all humankind and against all forms of discrimination. Since 2015, the EVZ Foundation has been increasingly committed to the equal rights of LGBTIQ persons and the strengthening of LGBTIQ self-organizations in Central and Eastern Europe. While until then LGBTIQ organizations had been funded under other programs, in 2015, in cooperation with Dreilinden gGmbH, the funding program SOGIdarity. Against Discrimination on the Grounds of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity was developed and implemented by 2020. In this program, cooperation projects of LGBTIQ organizations in Central and Eastern Europe with local stakeholders were particularly funded. The last projects of this program have ended in 2022. Through various networking opportunities and capacity building offers, as well as through the extremely tight accompaniment of the projects by the Foundation, which followed the principle of funding as cooperation on an equal footing, the funding program was a complete success. This has also become clear time and again in exchanges with the funded organizations. SOGIdarity was mentioned as an example of good practice in Rainbow Philanthropy (pp. 43-46), among others, where an interview on the funding program with our former project coordinator Olga Daitche can also be found.


Contact person

Andreas Neidhart

Senior Project Manager

Tel.: +49 (0)30 25 92 97-52