Overview of our work

History timeline

ENIL is a forum for all disabled people


1996 in history

ENIL holds the EU funded study visit on Personal Assistance in Stockholm. Independent Living conference is held in Stockholm and a meeting of Independent Living experts takes place in Dublin.


1999  in history

The millennium Worldwide Independent Living Conference is held in Washington DC. The Washington Independent Living Declaration is adopted.


2006  in history

ENIL moves its Secretariat from Bray, Ireland to Valencia, Spain. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is adopted by the UN General Assembly on 13 December.


2009  in history

ENIL receives its first PROGRESS operating grant from the European Commission.


2010  in history

ENIL’s initiative, the European Coalition for Community Living (ECCL), publishes “Wasted Time, Wasted Money, Wasted Lives” – the first report to reveal the misuse of EU funds for the building of institutions.


2011  in history

ENIL launches Alliance Against Disability Cuts (AADC) and a Proposal for a Resolution of the European Parliament on the effect of cuts in public spending on disabled people in the EU.


2012  in history

ENIL moves its Secretariat from Valencia, Spain to Dublin, Ireland.


2017 in history

The World Network of Centres for Independent Living (WIN) is established in Washington DC, and ENIL is appointed as the regional representative for Europe.


2019 in history

ENIL celebrates its 30th Anniversary and holds its 9th Freedom Drive.

About our organisation

ENIL champions disabled people’s right to choice and control

ENIL advises the EU institutions, the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner, national and local governments, in order to ensure that the right to independent living becomes a reality for disabled people in Europe. ENIL has special consultative status with ECOSOC and is part of the Conference of INGOs at the Council of Europe. We are a member of the European Disability Forum (EDF) and the European Expert Group on the Transition from Institutional to Community-based Care (EEG). The ENIL Youth Network is represented on the Advisory Council on Youth of the Council of Europe and EDF’s Youth Committee.

Our activities

ENIL campaigns for independent living and against poor practices

ENIL works on a selected number of areas, namely: Independent Living, deinstitutionalization, personal assistance, peer support, accessible environments, inclusive education, funding, disability hate crime and legal capacity, using an intersectional approach. We undertake five main types of activities:

  • Awareness raising activities – such as the Freedom Drive, the European Independent Living Day on the 5th May, and the EU Funds for Our Rights Campaign.

  • Advocacy activities – targeting the EU institutions, the Council of Europe, other intergovernmental bodies and the national Governments, through position papers, briefings, submissions, letters, complaints, meetings, hearings, other events and expert groups.

  • Training and capacity building activities – such as seminars, study sessions, trainings, training modules, webinars and the leadership programme for young disabled people (European Solidarity Corps).

  • Mutual learning and exchange activities – such as conferences, study visits, webinars and regional meetings, as well as the European Coalition for Community Living.

  • Analytical activities and data collection – including surveys, studies, fact sheets, manuals and toolkits, as well and the Independent Living Research Network.

  • information and dissemination activities – including the website, social media, audio-visual materials, members’ mailings and online newsletters.

  • Networking activities – such as memberships in other organisations, partnerships, coalitions and the work done through the World Independent Living Network (WIN).

Our Campaigns

ENIL seeks to ensure that disabled people’s voices are heard

EU Funds for Our Rights

EU Funds for Our Rights

In November 2016, the European Network on Independent Living (ENIL) launched a campaign on the use of European Structural and Investment Funds (‘Structural Funds’) …

Independent Living Day

Independent Living Day

The European Independent Living Day is celebrated each year on 5th May, under the slogan “Proud, Strong and Visible”. It is an opportunity for disabled …

Our projects

ENIL builds the capacity of disabled people and their organisations to lead change

Family Planning Project Family Planning Project

Despite considerable progress, the needs of marginalised communities have been traditionally underrepresented in national policies and programmes targeting Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights …

Choice4All Choice4All

The aim of the project “Promoting Choice, Control and Participation for All Persons with Disabilities in Europe and Beyond – Choice4All” is to advance …

European Coalition for Community Living European Coalition for Community Living

ECCL was founded in 2005 as a Europe-wide cross disability initiative

Independent Living Research Network Independent Living Research Network

The aim of ENIL’s Independent Living Research Network (ILRN) is to facilitate communication and development of joint initiatives