ENIL, Independent Living News.

Editorial Update

Welcome to the February edition of Independent Living News! This month we bring you news from the South Region. 

In this edition we call on your support for the adoption of a Proposal for a Resolution of the European Parliament on the effects of the cuts in public spending on persons with disabilities. We need your help to convince MEPs to vote in favor of this Resolution and have created a 'Defend the Right to Independent Living: Action Toolkit for an EU Parliament Resolution'. This includes a sample letter/email in many languages that you can use to send to your MEP.

We bring you the latest update from Sofia, Bulgaria where ENIL held their 2013 Face-to-face staff meeting. Representatives of ENIL also met with Local Authorities in Lukovit, Bulgaria, visited a sheltered house for young people with disabilities and also held training on Independent Living for the residents of this sheltered house in Lukovit. 

ENIL are honoured to induct Gordana Rajkov into the ENIL Hall of Fame, which aims to honour the work of disability activists and Leaders of the Independent Living Movement in the run up to the Strasbourg Freedom Drive in 2013. Gordana will be one of the speakers at the Freedom Drive this September and in this interview she tells us about her life story, the significant role she has played in progressing the independent living movement and the strength of the Strasbourg Freedom Drive in uniting people with disabilities from all across Europe. 

We hope you find this edition of the ENIL newsletter meaningful and engaging!

'Defend the Right to Independent Living: Action Toolkit for an EU Parliament Resolution'

ENIL call on your support for the adoption of a Proposal for Resolution of the European Parliament on the effect of cuts in public spending on persons with disabilities in the European Union. This resolution outlines measures that should be taken by the Member States, the European Council and the European Commission to ensure that cuts in public spending do not lead to further social exclusion and institutionalisation of people with disabilities.We need your help to convince MEP's to vote in favour of this resolution and have created a 'Defend the Right to Independent Living: Action Toolkit for an EU Parliament Resolution'. 

ENIL Independent Living Training and Promotion in Bulgaria

In the first week of February 2013, ENIL representatives traveled to Bulgaria to meet with local authority officials about the current situation of people with disabilities in Bulgaria and about the progress being made toward Independent Living there.  ENIL also held a training session on Independent Living for young people with disabilities who are living in a sheltered house in Lukovit, Bulgaria. There are ten young adults between the ages of 20-28 living in this sheltered house, they had all previously been living in different institutions or could no longer live with their families.

Hall of Fame: Gordana Rajkov

ENIL are honoured to induct Gordana Rajkov from Belgrade, Serbia into the ENIL Hall of Fame. Gordana has been a disability activist and a Leader in the Independent Living Movement for a number of years. Gordana is the founder of the Center for Independent Living in Serbia and has also been a member of the Parliament in Serbia.

 2013 European Year of Citizens

The European Union has made 2013 the European Year of Citizens. The European Year of Citizens 2013 is dedicated to the rights that come with EU citizenship. Throughout the year, the European Union will encourage dialogue between all levels of government, civil society and business at events and conferences around Europe to discuss EU rights and build a vision of how the EU should be in 2020.

ENIL Shadow Report on Article 19 of the UN CRPD

This year, ENIL will begin working on a Shadow Report on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities concentrating on Article 19. Article 19 focuses on Independent Living and Living in the Community. At the present moment, the CRPD Committee has a significant backlog, with this shadow report ENIL hope to capture the most up to date information that will reflect the true situation in member states in relation to Article 19 of the UN CRPD.

ENIL Comes to Sofia

The European Network on Independent Living (ENIL) had its annual face-to-face staff meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria between the 10th and 13th of February 2013. The Executive Director of ENIL, the Policy Officer along with all Regional Coordinators and staff from the Secretariat were in attendance. The focus of the meeting was the annual work programme for 2013 and how this will be implemented across Europe. There will be many activities taking place in each region throughout the year with a timetable for each activity being prepared.

ENIL and EASPD Open Letter to European Leaders

On the 3rd December 2012, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, ENIL and EASPD, the European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities wrote an open letter to the Presidents of the European Council, of the European Commission and of the European Parliament. This letter highlighted the negative and disproportionate impact that the current economic climate is having on social services for people with disabilities all across Europe.
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