Between 1-3 October 2019, around 300 disabled Independent Living activists, their personal assistants and allies from all around Europe, Japan and even Australia, came to Brussels in order to take part in the ENIL Freedom Drive 2019, and to celebrate with us ENIL’s 30th Anniversary.

We had a full three-day programme, which included:

  • The workshops and the meetings with MEPs on the first day.
  • Our very successful #LoudAndProud march, our cage in front of the European Commission, the hearing on the Freedom of Movement at the European Parliament, and the party for our 30th anniversary on the second day.
  • The conference on Independent Living, ENIL’s General Assembly and some side events (WIN meeting and the Youth Network meeting) on the third day.

During the General Assembly, among other, our new Board was elected. You can read more about it here.

We also said goodbye to our outgoing President Kapka Panayotova and thanked her for the many years she spent on the Board. Kapka was appointed by the new Board to the Advisory Group, along with Tara Flood and Mima Ruzicic Novkovic. The GA also elected the new Nominating Committee: Miro Griffiths (UK), Vanya Pandieva (Bulgaria), Gregor Fajdiga (Slovenia) and Matilde Fuchs (France).

Unfortunately, the ENIL Youth Network did not manage to have the GA or the Board elections because of lack of quorum. Instead, an informal meeting was held, where the young Freedom Drivers had a lively discussion and exchanged experiences. An online campaign for elections for the Youth Board is currently running. All of Youth Network’s full members are informed about the voting process and the candidates.

You can find materials from the Freedom Drive, including the presentations and the recordings of the conference and some of the workshops here. Photos and videos are posted on our social media channels, and the Freedom Drive report will follow soon, so do not forget to check our website and social media.

Also, for those that came to the Freedom Drive, we would like to ask your contribution for the following:

  • Let us know if you met with your national MEPs. We would appreciate it if you could tell us who you met with, what was discussed (briefly), and if you would recommend any of them as good contact for ENIL’s future activities.
  • Please complete our short Freedom Drive survey, if you haven’t done so already. It is available here.

Finally, we would like to say a big thank you to all of you who came to Brussels, but also to those who supported us at distance. Thanks to you all we managed to have a successful Freedom Drive and we were #LoudAndProud one more time! The next Freedom Drive will be held in 2021, and we hope to see you all there again!