NGOs denounce lack of transparency, pinkwashing on €2.5 million EuroPride

Seven NGOs forming part of the LGBTIQ Consultative Council have denounced the government’s lack of transparency, “miscommunication”, and pinkwashing tactics in its organisation of EuroPride last year.

Last summer, The Shift reported that Parliamentary Secretary Rebecca Buttigieg, tasked with hosting Europride last September, refused to answer questions from The Shift on some €2.5 million in taxpayer funds spent on the event.

In a statement on Friday, the NGOs called for transparency, estimating the event’s cost “to be far above the €2.5 million allocated” and questioning the government’s involvement when “it should be the community leading pride.”

They claimed it was being used “as a platform for the government to show off its ‘progressive agenda’,” while the community “still faces marginalisation, discrimination and violence.”

“Decision making, communications, budget allocation and direction were unclear from an early stage in 2023, raising serious concerns,” they said.

Following meetings with Buttigieg and Head of Secretariat Carmen Sammut, NGOs had initially been satisfied with promises of transparency.

“This did not last long, and our concerns emerged again as planning and logistics began,” the NGOs added.

Despite raising issues regarding the event’s disorganisation and its use as a pinkwashing exercise by the government, a promised budget breakdown was never provided.

Pinkwashing describes the use of marginalised communities by governments or businesses for reputational, financial or political gain.

“NGOs were pushed to reduce their activity expenses” while government practices raised questions about “accountability, transparency of decisions and the money spent on extravagant activities.”

Government miscommunications, late notifications, budget changes and a lack of consultation “were the order of the day,” they said.

They concluded that “without transparent information and clear communication, trust within the community is at risk, and thus the government’s involvement in future Prides is questionable.”

Last year, sources close to the event told The Shift that the government used the event to distribute funds to a select few event organisers, completely disregarding public procurement rules.

They claimed Buttigieg and Commissioner Helena Dalli were using the event to boost their personal profile.

The statement was signed by the Malta LGBTIQ Rights Movement, LGBTI+ Gozo, Aditus Foundation, Moviment Graffitti, Drachma LGBTI+, Allied Rainbow Communities and Checkpoint Malta.


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29 days ago

So first they party for ten days, go to free
Concerts, plonk their logos on the photos and artwork, turn everywhere into a massive rainbow land…and now they complain? Surely we are not expecting that things are done for free right?

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