young people sitting around a table in a library
Education on LGBTQI+ history is an important investment towards a more equitable society. Here from one of our projects in Poland lead by the foundation Polistrefa.

Working together for an inclusive Europe

Norway's international human rights agenda includes a steadfast commitment to equality for all. Through the EEA and Norway Grants, Norway together with Iceland and Liechtenstein actively promotes LGBTQI+ rights across Europe, recognizing the fundamental truth that every individual is born free and equal in dignity and rights. We support initiatives aimed at combating discrimination, promoting equality, and protecting the rights of LGBTQI+ individuals.

Our long-standing dedication to promote equality is materialised through a series of projects financed under our Active Citizens Fund. Some of these projects and their important impact to LGBTQI+ rights you can read more about in this article.  

Among other projects, we have been among the supporters of Europride 2024 in Thessaloniki. The funding from Norway has been “a stepstone to establish a core team working on the grand project of EuroPride Thessaloniki, facilitating growth and capacity-building of the EuroPride team” says Apostolis Karabairis, Director of Thessaloniki Pride.

Progress and Challenges for LGBTQ+ Rights in Europe

Despite significant progress in LGBTQI+ rights throughout the years, challenges persist. Many LGBTQI+ individuals in Europe are still denied their rights and equal treatment.  

Challenges include discrimination, everyday harassment, bullying and hate crime. Rates of violence remain alarmingly high. Studies show that 43% of all LGBTQI+ individuals experience discrimination, and one in five have faced physical or sexual attacks because of their gender or gender identity. Mental health issues are common, as hate crime cruelly targets some of the most vulnerable members of our societies, often young people. It tells an alarming story when numbers are showing that most of these people even avoid holding hands with their partners in public for fear of being attacked.

The need for robust and continued support is evident. Norway remains a dedicated partner for LGBTQI+ rights in Europe, committed to recognise the problems and take action. 


Project examples 

We have allocated more than 11 million euros to more than 140 projects promoting LGBTQI+ rights in 14 countries, including Greece. These initiatives focus on combating discrimination, promoting equality, and protecting the rights of LGBTQI+ individuals.  

Here are a few project examples: 

1. Preserving LGBTQI+ History in Poland 

The "Pink Archives" project aims to document and disseminate the history of the LGBTQI+ movement in Poland. It has created a digital and audiovisual archive, organised exhibitions, and held educational seminars. Such initiative is crucial in raising awareness and fostering understanding of LGBTQI+ history. The project is implemented by the Polistrefa Foundation and has received 83 000 euros in support. 


2. Greek Marriage Equality Awareness Campaign Say yes!  

The aim of the campaign was to inform and raise public awareness of the need for equality in the right to marriage for all couples in Greece. The campaign was a great success, gathered wide support and raised awareness among millions of people throughout Greece. A timely initiative leading up to the new marriage bill in Greece which was finally adopted in Parliament in March 2024, enabling same sex couples in Greece the right to marry as the first ever Orthodox Christian country to do so. The campaign received 59,351 euros in support. 

Link to video: (7) Facebook  


3. Strengthening Access to Justice in Romania 

The project significantly enhanced the capacity of NGOs to address intersectional discrimination and hate crime, particularly against LGBTQI+ and Roma individuals. 300 victims of hate crimes have received legal assistance, young people from vulnerable groups have received training, and more than 100,000 individuals have been reached. The "Strengthening Access to Justice for Victims of Discrimination and Hate Crime" project is led by the Accept Association in Romania and has received 245,000 euros in support.

Link to video: Facebook.

Our commitment to a more equitable society 

The above are just a few examples among many initiatives we have supported to promote more inclusive Europe. Projects as these illustrates what we can do when we work together.  

Do you want to learn more about these and other civil society projects?   

  • Read more about project examples here.
  • Read more about our support to civil society here.