The European Union is heavily subsidising a summer camp in Berlin focused on sexual orientation. Participants will attend several events on the topic of “sexual minorities in a heteronormative society” and there will also be an “opportunity to express their presence” in the German city.
The ‘Queer Camp’ for young people aged between 18 and 30 will be focused on the German LGBTQIA+ culture. It will include a workshop where attendees will be instructed on how to become a drag-queen or drag-king.
The European Solidarity Corps, a body belonging to the European Commission with a budget of €1 billion for 2021-2027, is footing much of the cost of the camp, meaning individuals have to pay relatively little to take part. One attendee posted on Facebook that he paid just €20 to enrol. Everything else, including hotel accommodation and flights, alongside a weekly allowance, will be provided by the EU.
The camp is organised by Concordia, a group that aims to promote “intercultural and intergenerational exchange across the world”. Its managing director is Marco Paoli, according to the French magazine Boulevard Voltaire.
News of the camp was deleted from Concordia’s website “because it was full”, the association told reporters. In exchange for attending, the group simply asks participants to become members of Concordia.
The two-week event takes place between July 24 and August 7, in Berlin. Alongside drag workshops and other related events attendees will also visit a former concentration camp.
The European financial support for the camp sparked debate in France, where some politicians have expressed annoyance, saying it seemed incongruous that while the EU can’t fix a shortage in medicines or help farmers to finance innovation, it can provide subsidies for a sexuality-themed camp for young people.
MEP Jean-Paul Garraud, of the ID Group, asked the Commission what it wanted to achieve by funding the camp, even querying whether the organisation of such events focusing primarily on sexual orientation could in itself be considered a form of discrimination.