The ENIL delegation at the EDPD Conference room, inside the European Commission

On 24 and 25 November took place the 2022 edition of the annual European Day of Persons with Disabilities (EDPD) conference, organised by the European Commission in partnership with the European Disability Forum to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. After two years of being held online because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year around 400 participants from all over Europe came back to Brussels to meet, exchange knowledge and address the issues that are important for them.

As usual, ENIL was there with a quite loud and proud delegation of disabled youngsters from Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Moldova, Portugal and Serbia, plus a few members of our staff team. 2022 is the European Year of Youth, and we are working a lot on it, together with our Youth Network. Having said that, it was a no-brainer for us to bring only young disabled people (of very different backgrounds and regions) this time, not only to celebrate the European Year of Youth, but also to prove our commitment to them, as the future of our movement and societies. After all, we were tweeting every year #YouthUpEDPD.

The programme of the EDPD conference this year was divided into three thematic areas. The first panel was of course dedicated to young disabled people, because of the European Year. The second was a high level discussion about the international instruments that are in place when it comes to the realising of the “Union of Equality”, and the third panel was dedicated to the notion of violence, in the different forms it can take (e.g. violence in institutions against older people, bullying, gender based violence, the war in Ukraine etc). ENIL participants took the floor numerous times and asked important questions to representatives from the European Commission, the Council of Europe or even the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities. You can watch the recordings of all the panels here (link to be share soon).

As always, the 2-day event ended with the people’s favourite Access City Award 2023 ceremony, with the big winner being the Swedish city of Skellefteå. Córdoba from Spain was second and Ljubljana from Slovenia third. Special mentions were given also to the cities of Grenoble (France), Mérida (Spain) and Hamburg (Germany). Congratulations to all six for the work they do!

Access City Award: Grenoble receiving an award for public transport