ENIL, Independent Living News.

Editorial Update

Welcome to the February edition of ENIL, Independent Living News!

This months Newsletter focuses on the theme of Austerity Measures. Firstly, we are excited to launch our campaign " Stop Disability Cuts" which aims to raise awareness of the disproportionate effects of the austerity measures which were undertaken at both an EU level and national level on the lives of disabled people across Europe. This campaign will culminate on the 5th May 2014 with simultaneous actions taking place across Europe. ENIL has declared May 5th 2014 as European Independent Living Day and we invite all disabled people and supporters, disabled people's organisations, NGOs and Centers for Independent Living across Europe to join us in this campaign by holding events to highlight the impact of the cuts on the everyday lives of disabled people in each member state. 

In this edition, we interview two researchers who have undertaken an extensive study which outlines how the cuts have disproportionately affected disabled people in Europe. We introduce you to Jan Troost who has been directly impacted by the funding cuts in the Netherlands and he explains to us how these cuts have affected his life.  

We are also delighted to announce that applications are now open for the 2014 ENIL Strasbourg Study Session. This year the study session will focus on " Understanding and countering multiple discrimination faced by young people with disabilities in Europe" and we particularly encourage young disabled people from minority or marginalised groups to apply. 

In this newsletter you can also read about one of the achievements of the Strasbourg Freedom Drive. One of the key calls from the meeting in the European Parliament with the Freedom Drivers was for a Commissioner on Disability to be appointed. Marian Harkin, an Irish MEP was one of the participants of this meeting and has since (along with a number of other MEPs) submitted a written declaration to the European Parliament to request a European Commission directorate for disability. 

We hope you find this edition of our newsletter engaging and that you join us in our " Stop Disability Cuts" Campaign!

ENIL launches campaign " Stop Disability Cuts" with awareness raising actions taking place across Europe on the European Independent Living Day, 5th May 2014

Who - This call is for ENIL and all supporters to mobilize and together carry out events on May 5th highlighting the effects of cuts on disabled people
What – simultaneous activities should take place in the EU Member States raising awareness on the effects of cuts – all events are happening on the same day to make our message stronger!
When – May 5th 2014
Where – all EU member states and neighboring countries.
Why – disabled people and their families are disproportionately hit by cuts and austerity measures. These cuts are in breach with the UN Convention on the rights of people with disabilities ratified by the EU and 25 of the member states. Cuts must stop now!
How? With the same message and slogan we send a wake up call all across Europe –– Stop Disability Cuts

The European Day for Independent Living, May 5th!

ENIL – European Network on Independent Living (IL) celebrates 25 years of being in existence having started in Strasbourg in 1989. To commemorate this event and celebrate our growing network the ENIL board is delighted to announce that May 5th has been declared as the European day on Independent Living. This day can be used as a day of celebration, for protests or any other event in the name of Independent Living throughout Europe and aims to foster unity for disabled people and our supporters and to also raise awareness of Independent Living.

May 5th is also Europe Day for the Council of Europe. This is a day for peace and unity. Traditionally this date has been a day of protest for the Independent Living movement and many disabled people and their organizations have used this day to raise awareness hoping to change and improve conditions for the lives of disabled people.

ENIL interviews 'impact crisis' researchers

Harald Hauben and Michael Coucheir were both part of the research team for the study entitled “Assessing the impact of European Governments’ austerity plans on the rights of people with disabilities”. Both of them are lawyers specialized in issues concerning social security and social inclusion in Europe and accession countries.

Hello Harald, hello Michael. In 2012, the study on the impact of austerity on the rights of people with disabilities was launched. You both were part of the research team, how did you get involved in this?

 Meet Jan Troost from the Netherlands 

Jan is 55 years old, married with two children. From the age of 14 he has been actively defending the interests of disabled people. He is a qualified social worker. For 15 years he worked on a national level, mainly as the Chairman of the CG-Raad (Council of the Chronically ill and Disabled), which is a paid position.

What is your personal experience of disability?
I have a condition called osteogenis imperfecta (fragile bones) and I am a wheelchair user. My disability in itself isn’t so much of a problem. Society still not being accessible enough is the real problem.

 Application Now Open- ENIL Study Session 2014 

Interested in finding out how you can challenge multiple discrimination in your country?
Want to learn about your rights and meet with other young disabled people from across Europe?
We have this opportunity for you!
The European Network on Independent Living ( ENIL) is running a week long study session, “ Understanding and countering multiple discrimination faced by young people with disabilities in Europe”, 29th June - 6th July 2014, at the Council of Europe Youth Centre in Strasbourg, France. The aim of the study session is to empower young disabled people to tackle multiple discrimination and to develop a video campaign to highlight this issue and promote tolerance and understanding.

One of the Achievements of the 2013 Strasbourg Freedom Drive!

As part of the Strasbourg Freedom Drive, ENIL held a meeting in the European Parliament to mark the ten year anniversary of the Freedom Drive.
One of the key calls from this meeting was for a Commissioner on Disability to be appointed. As a result of this meeting, Marian Harkin, an Irish MEP (and member of the ALDE Group) who participated in this meeting has since followed up on this suggestion and shown her support to ENIL

The Spanish Independent Living Federation takes action to protect the rights of disabled people!

Through ENIL’s Campaign for a Resolution of the European Parliament on the effect of the cuts in public spending on persons with disabilities in the European Union, a number of oral and written questions have put forward to the European Parliament by ENIL and several supportive MEPs. These oral and written questions outline the impact of the austerity measures on the living conditions of disabled people and ask the European Union what steps are being taken to ensure that disabled people are not further marginalised in society and seek clarification on what the European Union is doing to encourage the organisation of Community Based Services.
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More in this Issue

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ENIL 2014 Face-to-face staff meeting Dublin!

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