Transgender Europe’s Co-Chairs letter on funding
Dear TGEU Members and Friends,
For some people it may seem like an eternity, but taking into account that TGEU was established only 6 years ago (and first registered in 2007), recent achievements are outstanding. The TGEU Steering Committee is proud to announce that TGEU has been awarded two substantial grants, one from an international foundation and the other from the Government of The Netherlands, securing much-needed support for our operational activities.
US-based Open Society Foundations has granted TGEU 52,000€ for one year (grant period 1 July 2011 – 30 July 2012) with the possibility of additional funding over the coming years. This funding is being matched by the Dutch Government which has committed over 100,000€ for an 18 month period (1 July 2011 – 31 December 2012).
Both funders are familiar with TGEU’s work in the field of international rights for LGBT people and, over the past two years, TGEU has developed a trusting relationship with the Open Society Foundation through our co-operation in the TvT project. After initial talks with the Dutch Ministry for Education, Culture and Science in Summer 2010, Marja van Bijsterveldt, Dutch Minister for LGBT and Equality, invited TGEU to submit a request for grant aid at the 15th ILGA-Europe Conference in The Hague in October 2010.
The funding is focused on strengthening the trans movement and its representation at the European level, which has so far not received any significant funding from public or private sources. As discussed at the 3rd Council in Malmoe (2010), TGEU’s short-term goal is the effective consolidation of the organisation. In practical terms, this means ensuring that the capacities are in place by 2013 to apply for comprehensive core funding from EU funding lines. This demands that minimum organisational requirements are met such as functioning administrative procedures and sound financial management of budgets and accounts.
Focus areas for planned activities:
- Capacity building of trans communities across Europe (through organised events, development of materials, information provision, support)
- Advocacy to increase the visibility and inclusion of transgender equality and human rights issues at the level of the European institutions
- Strengthening TGEU as a European-wide organisation / network (requiring greater professionalisation and increased accountability)
- Awareness-raising about trans equality issues with campaigns and publication materials
While we are aware of the extra responsilibility and hard work that comes with receiving such grant funding, we are very excited about this generous support and truly believe that this is a crucial first step in the recognition and full inclusion of transgender issues in Europe.
With warm wishes,
For the Steering Committee of Transgender Europe
Julia Ehrt Richard Köhler