9th ENIL Freedom Drive: 1 – 3 October 2019, Brussels

The Freedom Drive is one of the key campaigns of the European Network on Independent Living (ENIL) – held every two years since 2003. It provides supporters of the Independent Living Movement with the unique opportunity to meet MEPs and promote human rights issues, as well to share experiences and ideas with colleagues from around Europe. Its rich programme includes the ENIL General Assembly, a conference with sessions on multiple topics, a meeting of the ENIL Youth Network and the culmination – a noisy march to the European Parliament where Freedom Drivers meet with MEPs. The first 6 editions of the Freedom Drive took place in Strasbourg, until 2015, when for the first time the location was changed to Brussels for strategic reasons.

1. Presentations and recordings


Building a grassroots campaign for Independent Living – Tara Flood and Kevin Caulfield

Neurodiversity and Independent Living – Tess Van Deynse

Using ESI Funds to support Independent Living – Natasa Kokic and Ines Bulic Cojocariu

User-led Personal Assistance – Dr Teodor Mladenov

Disabled Refugees Welcome – Jamie Bolling

Sustainable Development Goals – Nadia Hadad

Workshop recordings are available here.

Conference on Independent Living:

Speech by Adolf Ratzka

Speech by Tara Flood

Speech by Joe Huys

Speech by Marianne Knudsen

Speech by Vibeke Maroy Melstrom

Message from the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Catalina Devandas

A recording of the conference is available here.

Hearing in the European Parliament:

Presentation by Dr. Lisa Waddington, Prof. of European Disability Law, University of Maastricht

“Like Prison: the Situation of Disabled People in France” video

Background paper on the Freedom of Movment

2. Main documents

The 9th ENIL Freedom Drive was held in Brussels, on 1-3 October 2019. Below you can find all the relevant information distributed before the event.

Dossier for participants: download it HERE. (An updated version is available HERE.)

Freedom Drive Demands 2019: download them HERE.

Information for the media: download from HERE.

ENIL General Assembly Documents (electronic format): download from HERE.

3. Schedule of events*

30 September – Monday 

Arrival of Freedom Drivers

1 October – Tuesday 

10:30 – 17:30  Workshops on topics related to Independent Living (click here to find out more)
10:00 – 18:00  Meetings with MEPs, arranged by national delegations

2 October – Wednesday 

9:00 – 10:00  Gathering in front of the Parc du  Cinquantenaire
10:00 – 12:00  Protest march for Independent Living (listen to the FD song and learn the lyrics)
15:00 – 17:00  Hearing on Freedom of Movement in the Parliament
17:30 – 21:30  30th Birthday Party

3 October – Thursday 

10:00 – 14:00  Conference on Independent Living
15:30 – 17:30  ENIL General Assembly
18:00 – 20:00  Side events (World Independent Living Network meeting, ENIL Youth General Assembly)

4 October – Friday 

Departure of Freedom Drivers

*This agenda is subject to changes.

4. Venues

-Mundo J, Rue de l’Industrie 10: workshops, info point

– Swedish Consulate in Brussels (Oslo Region Room), Rue de Luxembourg 3: workshops

-Microsoft Centre, Rue Montoyer 51: 30th birthday party

-Charlemagne Building, 170 Rue de la Loi: conference on
Independent Living, General Assembly

-European Parliament, Place du Luxembourg: end of the
march, meetings with MEPs, hearing on the freedom of

-Parc du Cinquantenaire: meeting point for the march (see
route on the map below)

5. Useful contacts

For more information, please contact our Development Officer and contact point for the Freedom Drive Kamil Goungor at: kamil.goungor@enil.eu. A list of national coordinators is available here. They will be able to provide you with more information about the delegation(s) in your country and all the relevant developments.

Fundraising guide Link
Template letter to potential sponsors Link
List with accessible hotels Link
Informational website about Brussels Link
Website about Brussels’ transport accessibility Link

Here, you can find the latest news as soon they are posted.

Here, you can find the Freedom Drive flyer.

Here, you can join our Freedom Drive Facebook page.

You can also read about the last Freedom Drive in 2017 to get an idea of what to expect.

Official Freedom Drive hashtags: #2019FreedomDrive #FD2019 #StrongerThanEver