ENIL’s 2017 Greetings

ENIL’s 2017 Greetings

ENIL greets old and new members with a Happy 2017 – which is well under way! It is exciting that every month new people are joining ENIL, making the Independent Living movement stronger and stronger. This article brings ENIL’s greetings and provides a short preview of the year to come and a short review of 2016.

What’s planned?

  • The European Day on Independent Living celebrated on 5th May – plans have already been started. Follow the ENIL Newsletter for progress on this!
  • The 8th ENIL Freedom Drive is planned, along with the ENIL General Assembly, both happening in late September.

In 2017, the following activities, among others, will take place:

– The ENIL Annual Report, giving an overview of what ENIL was busy with throughout 2016, will be published on the ENIL website in February.

– Development of the ENIL Independent Living Research Network – updating of the research database will continue; ENIL’s publications will be sent to the University of Leeds Disability Archive; literature reviews are planned on issues ENIL is focusing on (such as personal assistance, direct payments, deinstitutionalisation); a proposal for an Independent Living Research Platform is to be presented during the Freedom Drive activities.

– ENIL’s Advocacy Officer Frank Sioen will continue to work on the issues of implementation of the UN CRPD, the European Accessibility Act, the Social Pillar, the European Semester and with the Alliance Against the Cuts. Frank plans to hold regular webinars with updates and training on these subjects, so stay tuned for more news from Frank.

– The European Structural and Investment Funds is something that ENIL has been focusing on for many years. We promote the proper use of these funds – meaning that they will be used for community living and not for the institutionalization of disabled people. Natasa Kokic, ENIL’s Campaign Coordinator, will keep you updated on the ENIL campaign “EU Funds for Our Rights!”

– Hate Crime is on the agenda and updates will follow on the work that will be done as a partner with CEJI – A Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe on the project Facing All the Facts.

– Lili Angelova, ENIL’s Project Coordinator, will continue her work on a research paper to assist the CRPD Committee while drafting the General Comment on Article 19 of the CRPD. Results will be disseminated to all.

– ENIL will continue the work on deinstitutionalization, with our members, and within the European Expert Group on the Transition from Institutional to Community-based Care (EEG).

– At least one webinar will take place on development cooperation. This is an area that ENIL’s Board member Nadia Hadad holds close to heart.

– A collection of good practices on Independent Living will be published in cooperation with the European Disability Forum (EDF). You are encouraged to contribute to the collection. You can find the survey in this issue of the Newsletter.

– Did you miss the call for the next youth study session, organized by ENIL and the Erasmus Student Network (ESN), in cooperation with the Youth Department of the Council of Europe? The deadline for application is 27th February, so do apply from this link.

Fundraising is another important area, as the ENIL Board and team would like to see ENIL become more sustainable. We especially thank our member organisations who have now funded ENIL for a certain time: ULOBA – which has been funding ENIL since 2012, STIL and GIL, which have funded ENIL both in 2016 and in 2017. We also thank those who responded to our Christmas appeal. The funding will support ENIL in its strive to raise awareness on Independent Living, with the goal to change lives for disabled people all across Europe.

ENIL will also welcome two EVS volunteers next month – Rebecca Farren and  Mher Hakobyan. Both will be assisting ENIL until October 2017. You will soon be hearing from them, with both an introduction of who they are and on their learning process.

A reminder of great things from 2016:

Don’t miss the films on deinstitutionalization “Institutions Are Not Solutions”, if you have not seen them. Both were produced by Patrick Doodt and have come out of the ENIL study visit on deinstitutionalisation held in Stockholm in September. You can download the shorter version here and the longer version here.

The film from the third ENIL youth study session “Supporting young disabled people to explore sexuality and relationships as integral to their social inclusion and independent living”, which you can find here.

ENIL’s Guide to using the Optional Protocol to the UN CRPD is not only informational, but can be extremely helpful if you plan actions using the Convention. You can find it here.

Don’t miss the reports produced during the year:

ENIL-ECCL report on the use of European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIFs) for deinstitutionalisation, entitled ‘Working Together to Close the Gap Between Rights and Reality’.

ENIL’s report for the Petitions Committee (PETI Committee) of the European Parliament on the use of European Structural and Investment Funds in Slovakia and our report for the PETI Committee on the European Structural Funds and People with Disabilities in the EU.


Jamie Bolling

ENIL Executive Director

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