Celebration of the European Independent Living Day was organized through a set of different activities which started before this day and lasted during May. Topic of this year celebration was Mobility, which includes right to personal mobility (freedom of movement) of persons with disabilities, therefore it was set as a key topic of organized activities. (Personal) mobility and/or mobility can be widely understood and implies topics like freedom of movement, rights, services and means of support, traveling for work or leisure, including mobility and exchange programs, public and private transportation, (limitations of) movement during COVID-19 pandemic, meaning of mobility for persons living in institutions, and all other associations to word mobility. This means this right for PWDs includes quality and highest attainable standard of aids and equipment, assistive technologies and tools.
At the beginning, there was a campaign that included recording of the video materials with 15 public figures from Montenegro, who send their messages on the topic of independence, freedom and mobility of PWDs. Persons who took part in the campaign were: dr Dritan Abazović, Deputy Prime Minister, MEPs Nikola Janović, Danijel Živković and Miloš Konatar, MA Sead Šahman, president of youth of the Bosniak party, ministers: MA Tamara Srzentić, Minister of Public Administration, Digital Society and Media, MA Sergej Sekulović, Minister of the Interior, Mladen Bojanić, Minister of Capital Investments and dr Jelena Borovinić-Bojović, Minister of Health, then Janko Odović, State Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Social Welfare, prof. dr Danilo Mrdak, State Secretary in the Ministry of Ecology, Spatial Planning and Urbanism, and dr Milena Lipovina-Božović, State Secretary in the Ministry of Economic Development and MA Tamara Milić, Head of the Direction fo Inclusive Education in the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport. Persons who took in campaign also were Zorka Kordić, Chief Negotiator for the EU Accession of Montenegro, and MA Siniša Bjeković, Ombudsman.
Besides this, public invitation was sent to the journalists and all citizens of Montenegro to send similar video materials. A few persons responded to this invitation and send messages on the topic of independence. Additionally, a public call for journalists for preparation and publishing of texts, shows or video content on the topic of independent living. Eight journalists applied to call with five video materials and two texts in electronic media and Commission of AYDM decided to award all submissions. Awarding ceremony was held on 11th May, in premises of AYDM.
Written interviews were done with American journalist Joe Shapiro who in 80-es followed civic movement of persons with disabilities and their fight for deinstitutionalization and living in the community, and with European MEP Stelios Kympouropoulos.
The final activity was Conference on which public officials and other persons from responsible authorities discussed about independent living of PWDs. The Conference was opened by the Deputy Prime Minister dr Dritan Abazović and Ambassador of the EU in Montenegro H. E. Oana Cristina Popa, while panellists were Ombudsman Siniša Bjeković (video), Minister of Finance and Social Welfare Milojko Spajić and Executive Director of AYDM Marina Vujačić. Panel was folloed by the discussion with questions for Minister.
This event was organised by AYDM – the Association of Youth woth Disabilities of Montenegro before 9th May, Europe Day, within the EU4ME project, funded by the European Union and implemented by the Secretariat General of the Government of Montenegro, as well as through the project Get Independent! implemented by AYDM, funded by the Ministry of Finance and Social Welfare through a call for NGOs in 2020.
Report created by: Milica Marđokić
Report approved by: Marina Vujačić