The European Coalition for Community Living (ECCL) was founded in 2005, as a Europe-wide cross disability initiative working towards the social inclusion of disabled people by promoting the provision of comprehensive, quality community-based services as an alternative to institutionalisation. ECCL was established by ENIL, Autism Europe, the Center for Policy Studies of the Central European University, the European Disability Forum, Inclusion Europe, Mental Health Europe and the Open Society Mental Health Initiative, following publication of Included in Society, the first EU-funded report on the situation of disabled people in institutions.

ECCL’s mission was to advocate for and monitor progress towards de-institutionalisation in Europe, campaign for, and provide information on, the development of comprehensive, quality community-based services and deinstitutionalisation. Thanks to its diverse membership, ECCL was able to monitor developments across Europe, influence the national and regional policy and support the efforts of its members by exchanging information and examples of good practice.

As from the beginning of 2008, ECCL has been a project of the European Network on Independent Living (ENIL). Until 2010, ENIL-ECCL were advised by an Advisory Council made up of renowned disability activists and experts, which met once a year. The Council was disbanded due to the lack of resources.

In 2009, ENIL-ECCL became one of the founding members of the Ad Hoc Expert Group on the Transition from Institutional to Community-based Care, established at the initiative of the then EU Commissioner Vladimir Spidla. ENIL-ECCL continues to be a member of this group, now referred to as the European Expert Group for the Transition from Institutional to Community-based Care.

In 2010, ECCL launched the first ever report exposing how the European Union funds are being used for perpetuating segregation of disabled people in institutions. It was titled “Wasted Time, Wasted Money, Wasted Lives – A Wasted Opportunity?”.

In 2018 and 2019, ENIL-ECCL organised a series of webinars on deinstitutionalisation – summarised in this document – in partnership with the GatherBuildWork Consultancy

You can watch all webinars by clicking on the links below:

Community-Based Housing for People with Mental Health Problems – interview with Radmila Stojanovic Babic from Udruga Susret, Croatia (July 2019)

Less Talk, More Work – interview with Milan Sverepa, Director of Inclusion Europe (April 2019)

ProAct Support, Romania – interview with Cerasela Predescu, its founder (March 2019)

Helpific – interview Zsolt Bugarszki, one of the co-founders (March 2019)

Older People and Community Living (December 2018)

Community Connecting (November 2018)

Co-production – It can work! (October 2018)

Parents, Families and Allies (September 2018)

Supporting people with complicated lives and support needs (July 2018)

Young People Have a Lot to Say (June 2018)

Self-directed Support & Housing (June 2018)

The Next Generation, Co operation and Working Together (April 2018)

One Person at a Time (March 2018)

Leading Change (February 2018)

Learning from What Works (January 2018)

Since then, ENIL-ECCL continues to work as an informal group of activists and practitioners advocating for the closure of institutions and the development of community-based supports and services around Europe, and monitoring progress of deinstitutionalisation projects and initiatives. The focus of our work is on bringing together people actively engaged in the closure of institutions, sharing their experiences, learning together and supporting each other.

Information about the upcoming webinars is available under Events.

Contact person: Nic Crosby