ENIL Proposal for a new Resolution of the European Parliament UPDATED! (29th March)

call to actionOn the occasion of 2011 Freedom Drive, ENIL launched a Proposal for a Resolution of the European Parliament on the effect of cuts in public spending on persons with disabilities in the European Union. This Resolution outlines measures that should be taken by the Member States, the European Council and the European Commission to ensure that cuts in public spending do not lead to further social exclusion and institutionalisation of people with disabilities. ENIL argues that doing so is everyone’s responsibility under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

ENIL has received information from many of its members about the way cuts are affecting Independent Living services for people with disabilities, such as personal assistance and direct payments. Some of the examples are listed in the Background note accompanying the Proposal.

The Proposal was presented to Members of the European Parliament at the Disability Intergroup meeting on 15 September 2011. Following that, ENIL has continued with a series of lobbying activities, in order to get the needed support for the Resolution from MEPs. If you are in favour of the Resolution, we would like to encourage you to support us! Here are some of the things you can do:

  • Lobby your MEPs – send them a copy of the Proposed Resolution and write a letter; explain in a meeting why they should support the Proposed Resolution. (You can find the names and e-mails of your MEPs here)
  • Approach other organisations in your country and ask them to join your lobbying activities;
  • Carry out awareness-raising activities among other people with disabilities and the wider public, on the effect of cuts on Independent Living;
  • If you have been affected by the cuts, please let us know and we can bring this to the attention of MEPs during our lobbying activities;
  • Check http://enil.eu for updates and other ways to get involved.

For more information, please contact Ines Bulic, ENIL Policy officer and Regional Teams Manager at ines.bulic@enil.eu.

Download the full text of the proposal in English (DOC)

Download the Background note in English (DOC) 

Another EU Languages:

Full text of the proposal in Swedish (DOC)

Full text of the proposal in Bulgarian (DOC)

Full text of the proposal in Norwegian (DOC)

Full text of the proposal in Greek (DOC)

Full text of the proposal in German (DOC)

Full text of the proposal in Czech (DOC)

Full text of the proposal in Spanish (DOC)

Full text of the proposal in Slovenian (DOC)

Background note in Slovenian (DOC)

Full text of the proposal in Dutch (DOC)

Full text of the proposal in French (DOC)

if you cannot find your language and you are interested in collaborate with the translation, please contact us: secretariat@enil.eu

Institutions and personal assistance in northern Europe

By Josefin Sterner, intern at the JAG Association

 A charting of the existence of institutions and personal assistance in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Denmark, Norway, Iceland and Finland shows that though the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities have been signed and soon ratified by all of these countries the result vastly varies between the countries.

It is extremely difficult to find information about the amount of persons living in institutions or people granted personal assistance. Neither the governments nor the organizations in the IL-movement have the statistics and no information is to be found in national databases. (more…)

Valencia conference on Independent Living and Human Rights

Jamie Bolling – Executive Director of ENIL visited the Secretariat in October. The main event was a conference on Independent Living and Human Rights organized by Carmen Najera– the Spanish Coordinator. Jamie spoke on the Freedom Drive and follow-up  through meetings with MEPs.

In the background during the day a TV team was conducting interviews of various people for a film on Independent Living inSpain. So stay tuned for the film!

Meetings were organized between IL members and other actors including architects and politicians to discuss IL indicators. Questions on planning of inclusive housing projects were discussed as well as the importance of awareness raising of politicians and the influence of political party programs. (more…)

Irish Freedom Drive Follow Up

The Irish Freedom Drivers are continuing to put pressure on the Irish Government to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities and have met with the Minister of State with responsibility for  Disability, Kathleen Lynch, and have raised this matter directly with her.           

The Irish MEPs have been supportive and through them a number of questions have now been formally put to the European Commission. These include:

Irish delegation at the Parliament

“In Article 33.2 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities it states that:

“States Parties shall, in accordance with their legal and administrative systems, maintain, strengthen, designate or establish within the State Party, a framework, including one or more independent mechanisms, as appropriate, to promote, protect and monitor implementation of the present Convention. When designating or establishing such a mechanism, States Parties shall take into account the principles relating to the status and functioning of national institutions for protection and promotion of human rights.”


Back to Italy after the Freedom Drive

On 15 September, the fifth edition of the Freedom Drive was held in Strasbourg. The Freedom Drive is a march for freedom organised every two years by ENIL, which this year saw over two hundred people with disabilities from 20 countries marching from Place de la Republic to the European Parliament.

The aim of the event is to ensure the right for people with disabilities to live independently, by adopting policies based on respect for human rights.  This can be made possible through developing accessible spaces, accessible transportation, assistive technology and self-managed personal assistance, as provided by Article  19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It would help us choose how to organise ours lives, just like everyone else.  (more…)

Swedish MEPs Call for De-Institutionalisation

During the Freedom Drive, the delegation from Sweden held a meeting with a number of Swedish MEPs. As a result of this meeting, a group of MEPs published an article in a major newspaper calling for the closure of long stay residential institutions for persons with disabilities in Europe.

The article also refers to the European Coalition for Community Living (ECCL), which is a project of ENIL.

Read English version

Original article (Swedish)


Road Movie Contest

Now that the Freedom Drive is over, ENIL is collecting entries to its Road Movie Contest. If you have photos or videos from the Freedom Drive, please send them to the ENIL Secretariat at secretariat@enil.eu. The best photo story or documentary will be shown at the Freedom Drive 2013! Participants from Belgium can also send their videos to Onafhankelijk Level, who will reimburse the winner’s travel and accommodation costs to the Freedom Drive. More information is available at: http://www.onafhankelijkleven.be/freedomdrive2011/winjetrip/

Progress in Implementing Freedom Drive Demands

Before this year’s Freedom Drive, we analysed the progress made in implementing the demands from 2009. In case you have not had a chance to read this document, we are sending it to you again. The second document, Freedom Drive Demands Explained, sets out what is behind this year’s demands. ENIL will use the next two years to lobby for their implementation with the relevant institutions, such as the European Commission and the European Parliament Disability Intergroup.

– Progress made in implementing the demands (Doc)

– Freedom Drive Demands Explained (Doc)

Report from the Freedom Drive 2011

This report includes summaries of all the meetings and events organised during the Freedom Drive week. You will also find the selected press coverage and the main documents in the Annex to the report.

The report is available in pdf and Text Only version.

Freedom Drive 2011 route

This year Freedom Drivers will have a new, more visible route, starting at Place de la Republique. From there, we will make our way to the European Parliament. A Member of the Parliament will then take our demands.

If you can, please bring banners, megaphones, drums and other props to make theFreedom Driveloud and clear! Chants and songs in different languages are also welcome.

Freedom Drivers will be meeting at Place de la Republique at 10 o’clock

See it with more detail

5th ENIL Strasbourg Freedom Drive

Watch some videos on the Freedom Drive 2011 here


more materials in the Freedom Drive Facebook Page

Share with us your videos, photo galleries…!

Please send the links to your videos, photo galleries… to  this email