‘Defend the Right to Independent Living: Action Toolkit for an EU Parliament Resolution.’

ENIL call on your support for the adoption of a Proposal for 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.We need your help to convince MEP’s to vote in favour of this resolution and have created a ‘Defend the Right to Independent Living: Action Toolkit for an EU Parliament Resolution’.

ENIL has received information from many of its members about the ways in which the cuts are negatively affecting Independent Living services for people with disabilities, such as personal assistance, community based services and direct payment schemes. The economic crisis, along with political and social decisions taken as a result of it, are undermining the fundamental civil, political, social and economic rights of people with disabilities. These rights are enshrined in the UN CRPD which was ratified by the European Union and the majority of EU member states. Recent research confirms this and predicts the worst effects are still to come. Examples of these negative effects are also listed in the background note accompanying the proposal.

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. The proposal was presented to members of the European Parliament at the Disability Intergroup meeting on the 15th September 2011. Following this, ENIL has continued with a series of organised activities, in order to gain the necessary support for the proposed resolution. In February 2012, a successful hearing “Defend the Right to Independent Living- How the EU’s austerity policy is undermining the lives of people with disabilities” took place in the European Parliament with a lot of work being done by a coalition of supporting organisations cooperating in a Working Group. The proposal is now broadly supported by civil society organisations, policy and research experts and many MEPs. ENIL joined forces with other organizations in the working group Defend the Right of Independent Living and sought support from the Employment and Social Affairs Committee to initiate a debate and vote on this in the EU Parliament by an oral question.

In order for the Resolution to be adopted by the European Parliament, we will need 378/ 754 MEPs to vote Yes to the resolution.  We need your support to convince MEPs to vote Yes. To help you or your organisation do this we have created a Defend the Right to Independent Living: Action Toolkit for an EU Parliament Resolution’ This Action Toolkit outlines the background to this resolution, explains the process of a resolution being adopted in the European Parliament and provides useful ideas and methods to raise awareness of the issue and to effectively convince MEPs to vote Yes to our resolution proposal. It also provides a better understanding of how the financial crisis in Europe is hitting people with disabilities disproportionally and seriously compromising the right of Independent Living. There are many ways to contact an MEP but one of the most effective ways is to go directly to the MEP. We can ask for a meeting with them to explain the proposed Resolution, what our goals are and why we think it is so important to have their support. We provide you with a sample letter/email which you can use to send to your MEP. This sample letter is available in EnglishSpanishItalianBulgarian and Dutch.  You can also attach a short summary note with this letter that we have prepared and is available in four languages; EnglishSpanish Italian , German, Greek , Swedish and French. Please let us know about the responses that you get by emailing the secretariat@enil.eu.

Please support us to get this Resolution adopted in the European Parliament in order to change the current negative situation and have the voices of people with disabilities from across Europe heard at a European Level.

If you would like to see the video of the oral question on impact of austerity of people with disabilities in the Employment and Social Affairs Committee Meeting please click here. The oral question will now go to the plenary in the European Parliament.

For further information on this campaign, please click here.


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