LGBTI Equal Rights Association for Western Balkans and Turkey

Annual Conference



If you would like to attend the ERA conference as participants please send an Email at [email protected] Please note that at this point ERA cannot cover any costs related to your participation (travel, accommodation, meals etc) 






1. Background

ERA – LGBTI Equal Rights Association for the Western Balkans and Turkey is an umbrella regional association operating in nine (9) countries with a membership of 58 LGBTI organizations. It was founded in September 2015 with the objectives to a) strengthen capacities of LGBTI organizations in the region, b) lobby and advocate nationally, regionally and internationally for LGBTI rights and c) strengthen the visibility of the movement across the region and beyond.

ERA’s Annual General Assembly and Annual Regional Conference is the biggest LGBTI event organized in the region since 2015. The conference is a lobby, advocacy, capacity building and visibility event which brings together more than 200 participants from across the region, Europe and beyond. LGBTI activists, state officials (governments, Parliaments, equality bodies etc.), donors, researchers, journalists, diplomatic community, representatives of international organizations and members of the local community attend the event.  

Skopje 2018 

The ERA Annual Conference 2018 will be held in Skopje on 3-6 October. The event is being planned and implemented in close partnership with ERA’s member organizations in Macedonia. Engagement and involvement of important state institutions has already been established. The Conference will be held in close cooperation with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and the Inter-Party Working Group of the Macedonian Parliament for LGBTI Rights. 

Through its fundraising efforts ERA has secured financial support for a significant portion of the budget. Current supporters are the European Commission, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Macedonia and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of the Republic of Macedonia. 

Conference Objectives 

Main objectives of this Annual Conference are to: 

  1. Increase political will and engagement of governments of Macedonia and the region on LGBTI rights; 
  2. Increase dialogue and cooperation between state institutions and other stakeholders of the region with LGBTI organizations and activists; 
  3. Strengthen capacities of LGBTI activists as well as regional dialogue and cooperation of LGBTI organisations; 
  4. Contribute to an increased and improved visibility and position of LGBTI people in Macedonia; 

The General Assembly 

3 October 2018 

The Annual General Assembly, will take place on October 3rd. It is the most important annual event of the association where the most important issues and topics are discussed and decided for. The General Assembly is a venue of true political and democratic engagement and participation of activists from 9 countries of the ERA region. The assembly is attended also by members of the Advisory Board which is made of approximately 20 individuals from across the world who provide very valuable inputs and help to the association.

The Regional Ministerial Meeting and Stakeholder’s Dialogue Meetings

4 October 2018 

Cooperation with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Inter-Party Working Group of the Macedonian Parliament for LGBTI Rights has been established for the purposes of this conference. 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs will co-host the opening ceremony on October 3rd.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs will host the one-day regional ministerial meeting.  

The Inter-Party Group of the Macedonian Parliament for LGBTI Rights will co-host a panel at the conference on the role of parliaments in advancing LGBTI rights. 

In close cooperation with the Organizing Committee of the Conference it has been agreed that main objectives of the one-day Government conference are to: 

  1. Secure and improve engagement of state institutions – both in Macedonia and other countries of the region on:
    1. Access to education;by increasing engagement of Ministry of Education and Science of Macedonia on the LGBTI topic with regards to equality and safety in the school environment, revision of homophobic and transphobic school books and curricula, addressing violence and bullying etc.; 
    2. Legal Gender Recognition, by engaging with and increasing the engagement of the Ministry of Health of Macedonia on the subject and making use of the current international support and practices on the issue;  
    3. Regional cooperationby pushing for an Increased engagement and role of the Republic of Macedonia (cooperation with Regional Intergovernmental Platform, Council of Europe, Membership in the European LGBTI Focal Points Network etc.) which are also optimal platforms for policy reform and government initiatives; 
  2. Improve dialogue and cooperation of state institutions with LGBTI organizations; 
  3. Address issues faced by the LGBTI communities across the region particularly: 
    1. Access to Justice (protection from violence and discrimination) improved legal services; 
    2. Access to crucial services (education, health, economic empowerment);
    3. Improved public perceptions towards LGBTI people; 

Two Days Open Space Technology Regional Conference 

5-6 October 

The rest of the conference focuses on strengthening the capacities of LGBTI activists in the Western Balkans and Turkey region as well as on the coordination and dialogue of more than 150 participants from civil society, state authorities, academia, media, diplomatic community, donors and members of the local community.

The format of the conference is Open Space Technology, which was tried for the first time at ERA’s 2017 Annual Conference in Podgorica and was rated with huge success by all the participants. The format allows for each participant to have the opportunity to propose a workshop or session which then participants have to vote for as a preference. At the end, the most preferred workshops and topics make it to the agenda – which is a big number – by allowing people to self-organize and gather on topics they find of relevance and which they can contribute to. In addition, several main panels are held collectively were main issues of the regional movement are brought forward and discussed. This is also a space were special guests join. Story-telling is used during these main panels too which serve to inspire people and orient the smaller discussions taking place during the workshops. 


Please see in attachment below. 



1. Hotel Aleksandar Palace - Prohor Pcinjski  +389 2 309 2392 

2. Macedonian Helsinki Committee (LGBTI Support Centre) - Naum Naumovski Borche 83   +389 2 311 9073

3. Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia - 11th October St. 10

4. Members of Parliament Club - Mitropolit Teodosij Gologanov 45  

5. MKC Youth Cultural Center - Kej Dimitar Vlahov 15 2 311 5225

6. Skopje Bus Station – Nikola Karev 20 2 246 6313

Link to google map here are the venues of all conference events


For all participants whose travel costs are being covered by ERA, and who are arriving and leaving Skopje by plane, pick up has been arranged with local taxi company. Someone will be waiting for you at the arrivals lounge. 

Please be informed that we are not arranging pick up and return to airport for participants whose travel costs are not covered by us. 

For all other participants coming to Skopje by public transport or private vehicles whose travel costs are covered by ERA please keep in mind the following information: 

- ERA will cover costs of public transport (bus, train etc.);

- ERA will cover cost of travel by personal vehicle to Skopje and return  (reimbursement of costs by car is 0.10 EUR per kilometer ViaMichelin- Toll costs are not included in this amount);

- ERA will NOT cover other forms of travel arrangements such as taxi, rent a car, trips made in first class etc. 

Please be kindly reminded that you are responsible for your own travel insurance

For further reference please find in attachment ERA’s travel reimbursement policy. 


From the ERA team: 

- Amarildo Fecanji +381637429731 (WhatsApp and Viber too)

- Jelena Pilipovic +381 603052098 (WhatsApp and Viber too)

From the Conference Organizing Committee:

Elena Petrovska          +398 75 207 187

Ljubomir Faizov          +398 71 210 563

Jana Kocevska             +398 75 299 877


Whenever you need a ride somewhere, please ask the hotel reception or someone from our staff to call a taxi for you. Please specify that you’re asking for this company:

TAXI GLOBAL (+389 2 151 80)


Simultaneous interpretation will be provided in the conferences main hall, where all plenaries will take place and most OST sessions (Congress Hall) in English, Albanian, BCMS, Macedonian and Turkish languages. 


For all your social media posts, statuses, pictures on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. please use the following hashtags: #ERACon2018 #WeClaimtheFuture and #LGBTISkopje

For security reasons please make sure you ask permission of others before posting their pictures or names on your social media. 


Local currency is the Macedonian Denar. Exchange rate is approximately: 1 EUR = 60 DEN


[EVENING] EVENTS happening in Skopje during conference

[photo exhibition] Del LaGrace Volcano CORPUS QUEER: BODIES OF RESISTANCE 1980-2018 @ Museum of Contemporary Arts

(01-04 Oct.) KULTUVATOR vol.4 - film/popup shops/street art {free entrance}

(04 Oct.) KULTUVATOR w. Crazy P Soundsystem (live) {500 MKD entrance}  

(06 Oct.) PMG Recordings Festival 8 Sonična Mladost (Sonic Youth) {free entrance}


With the Skopje Pride was planned to take place on October 7th, the Skopje Pride Committee decided to postpone the event due to the upcoming referendum concerning the country’s name. Please maintain contact with organizations and activists in Macedonia to learn more about Pride dates and other events. 


The ERA Annual Conference is being organized by ERA, in partnership with LGBTI Support Centre, Macedonian Helsinki Committee, Coalition Margins, Subversive Front and H.E.R.A

The ERA Annual Conference is financially supported by the European Commission, Federal Foreign Office of Germany and Hirschfeld –Eddy-Foundation and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Macedonia and Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of Macedonia

This document has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The content 

of this report is the sole responsibility of ERA and its partners and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.


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    Belgrade, Serbia
  • Phone: +381 11 3227480
  • Email: [email protected]


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"This website has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. 
The content of the website is the sole responsibility of ERA and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union."