On the occasion of the 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 activities, in order to get the needed support for the Resolution from MEPs.
Alliance Against Disability Cuts
In 2011, ENIL launched the Alliance Against Disability Cuts (AADC), which is active and held three meetings in 2015.
AADC brings together representatives from different DPOs, including Inclusion Europe, Mental Health Europe, Autism Europe, the European Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry, Disabled People Against Cuts, the European Disability Forum and the European Association of Service Providers for People with Disabilities. Its objective is to collect evidence on the impact of the crisis on disabled people in Europe and to raise awareness about this issue at the EU level. AADC works towards the adoption of a resolution against disability cuts by the European Parliament.
We are calling on your support to encourage MEPs to vote Yes to this resolution in the European Parliament. In order to help you do this we have created a ‘Defend the Right to Independent Living: Action Toolkit for an EU Parliament Resolution’ which is available to download here. This Action Toolkit is also available in Spanish which you can download here.
This Toolkit provides a better understanding of how financial crisis in Europe is hitting people with disabilities disproportionally and seriously compromising the right of independent living. It also provides useful ideas and methods to raise awareness of this issue and to effectively convince MEPs to vote yes on our resolution. This toolkit also provides a sample letter/email that you can use to contact your MEP.
Here are some of the things you can do:
- Contact 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)
- Here is an example of a sample letter in English which you can send to your MEP. You only need to fill in the name of the MEP, your own names and optionally the organization you represent. We encourage you to personalize the text and add you own unique stamp to the letter. We recommend that you attach the ENIL Proposal for a Resolution to your email.
- You can also attach a short summary note that we have prepared and is available in three languages: English, Spanish and Italian.
- Please forward all the responses you get to the email@example.com. We would like to hear about your lobbying efforts and experiences in general. Thank you.
- Approach other organisations in your country and ask them to join your 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 activities.
- Check http://enil.eu for updates and other ways to get involved.
Other useful documents:
- Shaping Equality & Fairness after recession (A report of the Equality and Diversity Forum Seminar Series)
- ENIL Resolution Easy Read Version
- Download the full text of the proposal in English ( DOC)
- Disabled people protest against benefit cuts (Press release by Disabled People’s Direct Action Network, 2008)
Model Letter in different languages:
- Spanish Ejemplo de Carta para enviar a los MPE
- Italian: Esempio da lettera per inviare ai MPE
- Bulgarian: модел за писмо
- Dutch: Voorbeeld brief/email in het Nederlands
- French: Lettre en Francais
- German: Brief/E-mail in Deutsch
- Greek: Model Letter/email in Greek
- Swedish : Svenska text brev till MEP
Proposal in different 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)
- 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 providing us with a translation, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.