Summer coming to Warsaw
Summer has really arrived to Warsaw. The weather is warming up in a promising way – and additionally the Chopin concerts have started in the Łazienki park close to our Residence. It is a real privilege to be able to hear it on distance twice every Sunday, and of course even more to easily participate. This is a great, generous tradition in a city of culture. It is amazing.
I am happy to see the weather constantly improving also for the simple fact that my wife Karin and I will spend the weekend on a journey to the Warmińsko-Mazurskie region organised for Heads of Missions in Poland by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Lakes and beautiful summer weather are a very nice combination.
As I wrote in my previous blog I closed last week by signing, on behalf of the Swedish development agency Sida, an agreement with EBRD about a “Women in Business program” – first of all in the Western Balkans but eventually also in the six Eastern Partnership countries. The program looks excellent in itself and for me it was something of a sentimental journey as well since I used to work exactly with these kind of issues during my nine years as Regional Director for Europe in Sida.
During the weekend I tried to highlight the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia in different ways i.a. through posting a link in social media to an article on LGBT-rights that was published last year. http://www.feminoteka.pl/readarticle.php?article_id=1278
In parallell I noted a statement made in the website of Rzeczpospolita by a Member of the European Parliament, Mr Ryszard Legutko. He said – according the article – that Sweden has just become a Saudi Arabia of political correctness. There, if somebody is not participating in the yearly homosexual parade, that person will have huge “nieprzyjemności” (unpleasantness in English I believe).
I did not recognise this picture.
Today we have received some e-mails from people asking i.a. if participation in these kinds of parades are mandatory in Sweden. The answer is of course simple: No.
I have myself actually never participated in any Pride or Equality Parade in Sweden and have of course never faced any unpleasantness for that. The real, existing problem is the fact that LGBT-persons still are victims of discrimination and hate crime – different in different countries but it happens everywhere. I am proud of all Swedes, Poles and others who are engaging themselves for the cause of human rights for LGBT-people. The first equality parade I have attended was actually in Warsaw last year, and I plan to be there again this year. Voluntarily…
I will for sure also walk in similar parades in Sweden when I move back there again. Voluntarily then as well.