On 3 October, the General Assembly of the European Network on Independent Living elected six new Board members, who will join the three Board members serving their second term. Out of the new Board members, five were elected to serve two terms (2019 – 2023) and one to serve one term (2019 – 2021). During its first meeting on 4 October, the Board elected its new Chair, and it was decided that this role would be shared by Jamie Bolling and Nadia Hadad. They will be taking over from Kapka Panayotova, our long-standing President and Board member, whom we remain grateful to for the many years of service.

We are pleased to introduce ENIL’s Board, which will be leading the organisation until the next General Assembly:

Jamie Bolling, Co-chair (Sweden): Jamie is the director of the Independent Living Institute (ILI) in Stockholm. She is also the vice President of MyRight, working with International Disability Development Cooperation, and the project leader for the project called Disabled Refugees Welcome which is run by ILI.

Nadia Hadad, Co-chair (Belgium): Nadia is, among other, the Vice President of the Brussels City Advisory Council of Persons with Disabilities and a member of the Brussels Region Advisory Panel. She sits on the Belgian Supervising Commission inside UNIA, the independent mechanism for the implementation and monitoring of the UN CRPD in Belgium, for GRIP. Nadia represents ENIL on EDF’s Executive Committee.

Armen Alaverdyan (Armenia): Armen is the Executive Director of Unison NGO, the first organization to promote independent living for disabled persons in Armenia.

Michael Holden (United Kingdom): Michael is the current Chairman of the Centre for Independent Living Northern Ireland and is an accredited member of the Chartered Management Institute.

Radoš Keravica (Serbia): Radoš works at the University of Leeds in the Centre for Disability Studies as a researcher under the DARE Project (Disability Advocacy Research in Europe).

Jukka Kumpuvuori (Finland): Jukka is a disability rights lawyer, who in 2010 started his own law firm that focuses purely on disability rights litigation.

Suela Lala (Albania): Suela is the Executive Director of Together Foundation/ Fondacioni “Se Bashku”, an organisation that promotes the rights of persons with disabilities and is one of the few organisations in Albania to focus on Independent Living.

Vibeke Marøy Melstrøm (Norway): Vibeke is the secretary general of Uloba Independent Living Norge SA, and she has held and still holds many other roles and offices.

Tess Van Deynse (Belgium): Tess has autism and is a disability rights campaigner. She is active in GRIP vzw, which fights for the inclusion of disabled people in Flanders.

To find out more about our Board members, please click here.

In addition to the Board, the General Assembly elected the Nominating Committee, with the following members: Miro Griffiths (UK), Vanya Pandieva (Bulgaria), Gregor Fajdiga (Slovenia) and Matilde Fuchs (France).

Finally, three new members were appointed to the Advisory Group by the Board: Kapka Panayotova (Bulgaria), Mima Ružičić Novković (Serbia) and Tara Flood (UK). They have joined Rafaello Belli (Italy), Sue Bott (UK), John Evans (UK), Gordana Rajkov (Serbia), Adolf Ratzka (Sweden) and Corina Zolle (Germany) on this advisory body.