Freedom Drive

Freedom Drive update – 13 January 2016

ENIL prepared a letter after a suggestion that came up during its latest General Assembly, which took place during the ENIL Brussels Freedom Drive. It was suggested that members should be encouraged to make voluntary donations – an idea welcomed by the ENIL board. Therefore, in the link below you will find a letter from the two co-chairs of ENIL – Kapka Panayotova and Tove Linnea Brandvik. Please, spend a couple of minutes to read and consider its content.

ENIL letter

 

Freedom Drive update – 25 November 2015

Almost two months have passed after the huge and successful ENIL Brussels Freedom Drive 2015! Herewith we present you with some of the important follow-ups of the event.

Firstly we share with you the official Freedom Drive Report, which gives a relatively detailed overview of all that happened between 29th September and 1st October. There information can be found on the march, the decisions taken at the ENIL General Assembly 2015 (GA), the meetings of the ENIL youth, media links and much, much more on the 7th edition of the Freedom Drive! Just follow this link.

As a separate document we disseminate the minutes from the GA aligned with the ENIL constitution. This document summarizes the decisions taken during the GA on 29th September in the Bel Brussels. Click on this link to read the document.

Lastly we present some news about the future of the ENIL Youth Network. On 29th September, the youth present at the Freedom Drive, agreed that the Youth Network should formally exist and adopted a draft constitution on how the network should work. The network members who have been working on developing the youth network for the last 18 months were accepted as the founding (interim) board of the Youth Network.

The interim board members are:

Agnes Sarolta Fazekas (27) from Hungary

Aleksandra Surla (28) from Slovenia

Gatis Caunitis (27) from Latvia (vice chair)

Miro Griffiths (26) from the United Kingdom

Radoš Keravica (29) from Serbia

Zara Todd (30) from the United Kingdom (chair)

The Youth Network and its board will be supported by Dilyana Deneva (27) from Bulgaria – who is employed by ENIL as the Youth Network co-ordinator.

In the next week, profiles of the founding board members will be shared in the Youth Network.

The Youth Network remains part of ENIL but has now its own decision-making structures.

Follow the news and development of the Youth Network in any of the following ways:

 

Freedom Drive update – 28 October 2015

The ENIL Brussels Freedom Drive 2015 was a great success. Results will be presented in a report next month. ENIL again thanks all who have contributed and is in the process of evaluation to see what can be improved.

ENIL wants with this update to present some of the important results from the events. The ENIL constitution was revised during the ENIL General Assembly 2015 which took place during the Freedom Drive on the 29th of September and be can found here: PDF and Word version.

Also, during the General Assembly the Board and Nominating Committee elections took place.

The composition of the new board is as follows:

Maria Dahl (Sweden):    Maria Dahl 2

and Tove Linnea Brandvik (Norway):   Tove Linnea Brandvik

    – both representing the Northern Region.

From the Southern Region:

Stelios    –  Stelios Kibouropoulos (Greece)

and Marina Voudouri (Italy):  1523778_10152178942589082_1384438796_o

The Eastern Region will be represented by Kapka Panayotova (Bulgaria) who is also the ENIL president:   Kapka Panayotova

From the Western Region Paul Fagan (Ireland):

Paul Fagan,  Nadia Hadad (Belgium): Nadia Hadad                      Debbie Jolly (UK): Debbie Jolly

and Zara Todd (UK): zara

After the election of the board a new Nominating Committee was proposed and approved. The new members of the Nominating Committee are:

Jonas Franksson (Sweden) for the Northern region:

jonas-2

Vanya Pandieva (Bulgaria) for the Southern Region:

vanya

Gregor Fajdiga (Slovenia) for the Eastern Region:

gregor

and Mathilde Fuchs (France) for the Western Region:

mathilde

 

During the past week and in the next days we present you with the biographies of the newly elected ENIL board and Nominating Committee members on ENIL’s official Facebook page.

Next month, as mentioned, the ENIL Freedom Drive 2015 report will be disseminated, so stay tuned!

 

The ENIL Team

 

Freedom Drive update – 22nd September 2015

Dear Freedom Drivers,

This is the final information update you receive before the Freedom Drive as it is really around the corner!

Transport

There will be taxis and a bus organized from Bel Brussels to the hotels in the evening, but to make sure that all the taxis are full (4 persons) we need to make a schedule and put participants of the same hotel in the same taxi. So please, in order to help our planning, send an email to frank.sioen@enil.eu if you know from now that you want to leave earlier.

We also remind you that with a 3-day ticket (18 euro) you will be able to travel on the entire STIB network during the event. This should be bought in advance and we will make sure the ticket will wait for you in your hotel upon arrival. To order it, send an email to frank.sioen@enil.eu Payment can be made to ENIL bank account:

Account Name: European Network on Independent Living

BANK: Bank BNP Paribas

BIC (SWIFT): GEBABEBB

IBAN: BE38 0017 5966 4872
If you haven’t sent us your hotel information and you wish to use the 3-day pass, we would like to ask you to mail the information to us as soon as possible! Emails to be sent to Frank Sioen at frank.sioen@enil.eu

Alternatively, you can pay in cash at the welcome desk at Bel Brussels.

For transport to and from the airport and in Brussels to different locations:

Bus lines 21 and 12 to schuman station (accessible) or Luxemburg station (not accessible

  1. Taxi verts (45 euro); ask explicitly for Taxi PMR ( Personne Mobilité Réduite); transports only one wheelchair user at a time, with one assistant; tel.: +32/2 349 4949 (ask for a FORFAIT Price); website
  2. Taxi Hendriks (adapted vans for max 8 persons); Freedom Drivers special price: before 19h – 50€, after 19h – 69€; reservation at least two days before; by email (toon.medaer@hendriks.be),  mention ENIL Freedom Drive; by telephone ask for Toon Medaer +32/ 2 752 98 00; website in French and Dutch only
  3. TWD Support – (special price for Freedom Drive) before 19h – 50 €, after 19h 69€; reservation at least 2 days before; : +32/4 89 162 788 (mention the Freedom Drive!); online; website in Dutch, English, French and German
  4. You can find information on how to book assistance on the train on the following link This should be done at least 24h in advance
  5. To get to Brussels from the airport of Charleroi   you can take a train until 22.00h, after that you can only take a taxi (expensive – 77 euro!). If you are able to cope with a few stairs and have a manual wheelchair, you can also take a shuttle bus till 23.59h, visit this link for info

Some other useful links: Accessibility in general and Metro accessibility

Access to the Parliament

We are still facing a problem with the number of people allowed to enter the European Parliament (EP) at the same time. Because of security reasons there is now a general rule that events in the EP can only have 100 participants. However MEP Plura has written a letter to Martin Schultz, the EP President, to allow an exception on this rule for the Freedom Drivers. We are still waiting for the answer. But we have to take in account that we will have to make a painful selection. ENIL will try to do this as fair as possible with representation from all organisations and countries. We hope the Freedom Drivers will understand.

Furthermore, the EP accreditation service has asked ENIL to provide them with an overview list of all the national meetings that the Freedom Drivers have organized with their MEPs. Therefore, we kindly ask you to send us details of the meetings you have organized (if you did so) – with names of the MEP, date and time of the meeting, as well as the number of persons in your delegation – to secretariat@enil.eu

Thank you in advance!

General Assembly proxy voting

ENIL members, voting at the ENIL General Assembly (GA), are able to vote for one other ENIL member, not able to attend the GA, through proxy voting. We would need a signed letter from the person giving a proxy vote to another member. The letter should say who is being represented with contact details and give the person being appointed to vote through proxy voting again with contact details. This will allow for verification. There is a limit of one proxy vote per voting member. So no one can vote more than twice. Send to secretariat@enil.eu

Good examples for best Independent Living project/campaign during the year

ENIL reminds you to think about the best Independent Living project/campaign that you (your organisation) has implemented during the past year. We plan to have a ‘showing table’ with materials during Freedom Drive where you can share with all your creativity and good results! Please send your nomination to estitxuarraztio@gmail.com before the 25th September!

Volunteers

We will need some extra hands during registration and for some other small tasks during the whole Freedom Drive. If you wish to help us, please state this when you arrive in Bel Brussels or send an email to dilyana.deneva@enil.eu

The March

We will start gathering at 10.00am at Jubelpark (in the middle of the park) and the march itself starts at 12.00pm. By 13.30h we should have reached the Parliament. See a map with location points here. Please, bring warm clothes in case we have rain and cold weather. Join the march event on facebook.

Send us slogans that you suggest we shout during the march to dilyana.deneva@enil.eu

FD Anthem

During the march we will sing a song (available here) but with these lyrics! It will strengthen the spirit of the event and will cheer us all up. Learn the lyrics and sing with us!


And below are links to all kind of information and materials that you might find useful before and during your hopefully great Freedom Drive experience!!!

Participant Pack – with handy tips and useful information

Overall Freedom Drive Program

Conference Program

Parliamentary meeting program

ENIL Youth Network meeting program

Location points – for Wednesday’s March

Bel Brussels website – our main Freedom Drive venue

Informational website about Brussels

Parking information

ENIL General Assembly 2015 documents

 

Freedom Drive map and Participant Pack available now!!!

 

FD update – 15th September 2015

Dear Freedom Drivers,

One week after the last Freedom Drive update and one week closer to THE event!

In the following text you will find most up-to-date information about:

  • Transport
  • Translation in the Parliament
  • Access to the Parliament
  • Contest for Independent Living projects/campaigns
  • The march
  • Change in the conference program
  • Volunteers needed

Transport in Brussels

As we already noted, the public transport in Brussels is only partly accessible and we are doing our best to organise transport that suits the access needs of all Freedom Drive participants. With a 3-day ticket (18 euro) you will be able to travel on the entire STIB network during the event. This should be bought in advance and we will make sure the ticket will wait for you in your hotel upon arrival. To order it, send an email to frank.sioen@enil.eu Payment can be made to ENIL bank account:

Account Name: European Network on Independent Living

BANK: Bank BNP Paribas

BIC (SWIFT): GEBABEBB

IBAN: BE38 0017 5966 4872
If you haven’t sent us your hotel information and you wish to use the 3-day pass, we would like to ask you to mail the information to us as soon as possible! Emails to be sent to Frank Sioen at frank.sioen@enil.eu

Alternatively, you can pay in cash at the welcome desk at Bel Brussels.

For transport to and from the airport:

  • Bus lines 21 and 12 to schuman station (accessible) or Luxemburg station (not accessible)
  • Taxi verts (45 euro); the taxi company’s website is also available in English, but there is no option for reservation. You have to call them at the airport and wait for your taxi to arrive
  • Taxi Hendriks accepts reservations, but their website is only in Dutch and French;
  • You can find information on how to book assistance on the train on the following link. This should be done at least 24h in advance
  • To get to Brussels from the airport of Charleroi   you can take a train until 22.00h, after that you can only take a taxi (expensive – 77 euro!). If you are able to cope with a few stairs and have a manual wheelchair, you can also take a shuttle bus till 23.59h, visit this link for info

Some other useful links:

Accessibility in general

Metro accessibility

Translation in the Parliament

Translation in the Parliament will be supplied for English, French and Polish. These have been negotiated with MEP Plura. We have also gained access to the translation booths, so if you have a volunteer translator from your group, this person could use the booth. Please contact Dilyana Deneva at dilyana.deneva@enil.eu if you have someone who could provide the translation.

Changes in the conference programme

The first session of the conference programme on Thursday, 1st October, has now been modified. Please see the link with updated information.

Access to the Parliament

As we informed you last week, the safety unit in the European Parliament decided to limit the number of participants for our meeting to a maximum of 100 people. We are still working hard to find the best solution to this as there are more Freedom Drivers who would like to attend the meeting! However, if this restriction stays, we have prepared lists with at least one representative from each organisation and have made sure that all present countries (currently 25 in our lists!) are represented. We will keep you updated about any developments around this issue.

Good examples for best Independent Living project/campaign during the year

ENIL reminds you to think about the best Independent Living project/campaign that you (your organisation) has implemented during the past year. We plan to have a ‘showing table’ with materials during Freedom Drive where you can share with all your creativity and good results! Please send your nomination to estitxuarraztio@gmail.com before the 25th September!

Volunteers

We will need some extra hands during registration and for some other small tasks during the whole Freedom Drive. If you wish to help us, please state this when you arrive in Bel Brussels or send an email to dilyana.deneva@enil.eu

Let’s make some noise!

Being proud, strong and visible during the march is essential, so please bring all sorts of materials attracting the attention – whistles, hats, t-shirts, flags, posters with Independent Living slogans… Whatever you can think of – bring it with you and use it on Wednesday during the march.

The march!

We are gathering at 10.00h at Jubelpark (in the middle of the park) and will start moving at 12.00h. By 13.30h we should have reached the Parliament. The head of the disability unit Maria Cabral is supposed to greet the Freedom Drivers at the Commission building. If you are active on Facebook and plan to join the march, join it also virtually, by visiting this link.

Also, download the Freedom Drive Participant Pack for all the needed information in a few slides!

Next Monday you will be again updated with the latest news around Freedom Drive, so don’t forget to keep an eye on our website and facebook page!

 

FD update – 7th September 2015

Hello Freedom Drivers,

There are now only three weeks before the Freedom Drive. During this period ENIL will be sending an update once a week to keep you updated on the last minute developments. In this update you will find news on:

  • Transport
  • Translation in the Parliament
  • Access to the Parliament
  • Contest for Independent Living projects/campaigns

Transport communication

The public transport in Brussels is only partly accessible. You have to make a reservation to take the metro and only a limited number of bus lines and metro stops are accessible (see links below).

To make sure everyone can get around Brussels comfortably during the Freedom Drive, ENIL has worked on a solution with STIB (the transport provider). With a 3-day ticket (of 18 euro) you will be able to travel on the entire STIB network during the event. You will also receive a transport plan explaining the most accessible way to get from your hotel to the Freedom Drive events and at the end of each day you will be able to take a bus back to your hotel. If you can’t make it from your hotel to the nearest bus or metro stop, we can provide door-to-door transport. The 3-day tickets should be bought in advance. You will find them in your hotel when you arrive.

If you haven’t sent us your hotel information and you wish to use the 3-day pass, we would like to ask you to mail the information to us as soon as possible! Emails to be sent to Frank Sioen at frank.sioen@enil.eu

Transport links for:

Accessibility in general

Metro accessibility

Translation in the Parliament

Translation in the Parliament will be supplied for English, French and Polish. These have been negotiated with MEP Plura. We have also gained access to the translation booths, so if you have a volunteer translator from your group, this person could use the booth. Please contact Dilyana Deneva at dilyana.deneva@enil.eu if you have someone who could provide the translation.

Access to the Parliament

Our Freedom Drive meeting in the European Parliament will take place right after the march through Brussels on 30th September. This meeting is hosted by MEP Plura (EPP, Poland), Disability Intergroup Vice-President. ENIL is very grateful for MEP Plura’s support. But the preparations for this meeting and securing a suitable meeting room in the Parliament were extremely difficult. This was due to consecutive periods of raised terror alerts causing strict security measures, which didn’t allow large meetings with high numbers of external visitors in the Parliament.

Only very recently we succeeded in cooperating with MEP Plura’s office to get the permission for our meeting and to book a meeting room. But we are still facing a problematic restriction. The safety unit in the Parliament decided to limit the number of participants for our meeting to a maximum of 100 people. We are working hard, negotiating and putting pressure to overcome this restriction and to get a higher number of Freedom Drivers into the Parliament! But for the time being we need to take into account that we might be faced with no other alternative than to make a selection amongst the Freedom Drivers to get access to the European Parliament. Let’s hope we can avoid this. We are doing all we can to turn this around.

Peter Lambreghts, ENIL Senior Officer, in charge of the Freedom Drive March and the MEP Parliament meeting

Good examples for best Independent Living project/campaign during the year

ENIL will hold a contest during the ENIL Freedom Drive with the Freedom Drivers voting for the best Independent Living project/campaign that was carried out during the past year. Please send your nomination to estitxuarraztio@gmail.com before the 25th September!

ENIL General Assembly 2015

As you know, the ENIL General Assembly 2015 (GA) will take place during Freedom Drive. Registration starts at 18.00h on 29th September and the GA itself – at 18.30h till 20.30h. If you cannot attend Freedom Drive or the GA itself, you have the option to find someone who could cast your vote at the new board election as well as on the other issues to be voted on. This is the so called proxy vote, do make a use of it!

In this update you can find presentations of the board member nominees and the nominating committee nominees as well. Familiarize with them before the Freedom Drive and the GA and with the voting instructions.

Next Monday you’ll be updated again with the latest news around Freedom Drive, so stay tuned!

The ENIL Team

 

 

ENIL Freedom Drive update – 15 July 2015

FREEDOM DRIVE HIGHLIGHT BOX
 What  Where
FD Registration Form

English version

French version

Dutch version

march-only

registration form

Google map with locations link
Overall program link
Conference program link
List of less expensive towns near Brussels link
Fund-raising letter link
Fund-raising guide link
FD venue web page link
Informational site about Brussels link
Parking info link
March location points link
Freedom Drive participant pack link

 

ENIL Freedom Drive update – 26 August 2015

T-shirts have arrived. The General Assembly 2015 (GA) notice was sent out to all ENIL members. The registration list is growing. The Freedom Drive booklet is on the way to the press. ENIL is soon ready for the 2015 Freedom Drive!

In the GA notice the proxy voting procedure has been reminded. If you do not plan to attend Freedom Drive or the GA itself, do remember to find someone who could cast your vote at the new board election as well as on the other issues to be voted on: no change in membership fees, the advisory group term of reference and the ENIL nominating committee. Not to forget the changes in the ENIL constitution!

Among the issues that still need to be addressed is the public transport in Brussels, which is not accessible or has very limited accessibility for disabled people. ENIL is currently negotiating with the Brussels regional authorities and pressuring them to find solutions and alternatives for the Freedom Drivers for transport between hotels and the different event locations. This is why we inquired where you are staying, whether you need a parking space and which events you plan to attend. We have then communicated this information to the relevant authorities. It will most likely result in additional staff and adapted buses to enable us, the Freedom Drivers, to get around in Brussels. Detailed information on this will be given in September. Please note that ENIL is not providing or guaranteeing transport, but is doing its best to make transportation as smooth as possible.

 

————–

Hello, hope all are as excited as the ENIL staff on the approaching of the Freedom Drive. Brussels in September will be a new and challenging experience. ENIL is honored that the Freedom Drive will be sponsored by both the City of Brussels and the Region of Brussels. The Region of Brussels will sponsor the dinner, that is why the fee for the Freedom Drive has been changed on the registration form to be a general fee for the Freedom Drive events. This will cover the other costs that ENIL will have, including: coffee and food on the other days, the participant pack, technical equipment and a few other costs. The staff will contact those who have already paid to discuss this.

Hotels in Brussels are proving much more expensive and accessibility lacking. With Brussels being our capital these challenges become reasons to lobby for better access. Herewith you find a list of towns not far from Brussels where hotels should be less expensive that may help with your accommodation.

Registration is progressing and has been prolonged until July 31st. Registration form is available in English, Dutch and French. We know there are still many who are coming who have not registered yet. Please do so as we need to know who is coming for the Parliament meeting – copies of passports are needed for badges. Also this will help us in our transport planning. We are to get support from the City of Brussels, as existing transport cannot accommodate us. Special lines will need to be offered and we need to know for how many these would service.

During the Freedom Drive the ENIL General Assembly (GA) and the ENIL board election take place. Documents and the agenda for the GA will be sent by mid-August at the latest as stipulated in our constitution. These will include a proposal for the new board, changes to the constitution as well as the ENIL reporting.

Through the ENIL newsletter requests were made for nominations to the ENIL board. The following six persons have been nominated:

Christian Baierlein – NITSA – Netzwerk für Inklusion, Teilhabe, Selbstbestimmung und Assistenz

Maria Dahl – President of the Swedish IL organisation STIL

Stelios Kympouropoulos – member of the ENIL Youth Network and founder of I-Living Greece

Jean Pierre Ringler – founder of CHA – CIL in Strasbourg

Zara Todd – UK Leader of the ENIL Youth Network

Marina Vouduri – board member of ENIL Italia

Members from the current ENIL Board that are not standing up for re-election are: Vibeke Maroy Melström, Germano Tosi, Peter Lambreghts and Miro Griffiths. The other members: Kapka Panayotova – CIL Sofia, Mima Ruzicic – CIL Serbia, Tove Brandvik – ULOBA, Debbie Jolly – DPAC UK, Nadia Hadad – Belgium and Paul Fagan – CIL Donegal Ireland hope to be re-elected to continue working for ENIL and the advancement of Independent Living. The ENIL elections committee and advisory group have been asked to consider the nominations and to send a proposal of those members that the ENIL Board should put forward.

Changes to the ENIL Freedom Drive program can be found on this link.

ENIL would like to see a coordination of news coverage for the Freedom Drive and is looking for media contacts from the countries. A meeting of these contacts will take place in August to coordinate news from the Freedom Drive at the national level. Please contact us with committed persons at secretariat@enil.eu

ENIL’s intern Esti has created a map for ENIL and the Freedom Drive. See this link for your plans.

Next update will be mid-August with the GA documents. Wishes that you will enjoy your summer vacation!

General Assembly 2015 documents:

ENIL staff

 

ENIL Freedom Drive update – 25 June 2015

Greetings to all! Summer has come or at least has come to most countries – still a bit cold up here in the North. The registration for the Freedom Drive is in full swing. The deadline to register was set for June 30th but is now prolonged until July 31st as there are still people who plan to come but have not been able to register yet.

Updated registration forms are available in English and Dutch.

There have been changes to the ENIL Freedom Drive program that you find at this link.

And here you will find a draft of the Conference Program taking place on 1st October.

Other news:

Herewith you can find a list of towns not far from Brussels where hotels should be less expensive.

You can find a sample letter for fund raising here.

Links to registration forms for the Freedom Drive are now available in Dutch and French.

ENIL is negotiating for transportation solutions to get around the city of Brussels as buses today only take one wheelchair user. One solution may be a temporary van system.

ENIL is looking for media contacts from the countries. A meeting of these contacts would take place in August to coordinate news from the Freedom Drive. So please contact us with committed persons at secretariat@enil.eu.

We have put together a map for ENIL and the Freedom Drive. See this link to for your plans.

The ENIL General Assembly (GA) and the ENIL Board election will take place during the Freedom Drive. Documents and the agenda for the GA will be sent by mid-August at the latest, as stipulated in our constitution. Through the ENIL newsletter requests have been made for nominations to the ENIL board election. The following six persons have been nominated:

Christian Baierlein – NITSA – Netzwerk für Inklusion, Teilhabe, Selbstbestimmung und Assistenz

Maria Dahl – President of the Swedish IL organisation STIL

Stelios Kympouropoulos – member of the ENIL Youth Network and founder of I-Living Greece

Jean Pierre Ringler – founder of CHA – CIL in Strasbourg

Zara Todd – UK Leader of the ENIL Youth Network

Marina Vouduri – board member of ENIL Italia

The members from the current ENIL Board that are not standing up for re-election are: Vibeke Maroy Melström, Germano Tosi, Peter Lambreghts and Miro Griffiths. The other members: Kapka Panayotova –CIL Sofia, Mima Ruzicic, – CIL Serbia, Tove Brandvik – ULOBA, Debbie Jolly – DPAC UK, Nadia Hadad – Belgium and Paul Fagan – CIL Donegal Ireland, hope to be re-elected in order to continue working for ENIL and the advancement of Independent Living. The ENIL elections committee and advisory group have been asked to consider the nominations that have come in and to send a proposal of those members that the ENIL Board should put forward. This proposal will follow in August.

 

 

ENIL Freedom Drive update – 22 May 2015

The ENIL Freedom Drive 2015 is quickly approaching. The ENIL staff had its face-to-face meeting for activity planning on 19th and 20th May and the ENIL Freedom Drive in Brussels was high on that agenda. Here follows an update with new information.

There has been a change in location to Bel Brussels that has been announced and can be found on the ENIL web page: click on the Freedom Drive banner on the top right hand corner of our website. Updated program, registration form (also available in French and Dutch) and other information can be found there. This includes the Conference agenda. The fundraising guide has been updated and is also on the web.

If you have not registered yet, do so soon! It would be easier for our planning to know who is coming. As the ENIL Freedom Drive is taking place for the first time in Brussels, you may have questions that we can help with – contact the secretariat@enil.eu.

ENIL Freedom Drive update – 10 April 2015

The location of the ENIL Freedom Drive events has changed! We will be meeting at Bel Brussels (http://bel.brussels) – a much more accessible venue for ENIL! Bel is not far from the older venue La Tentation, so the change should not affect your previous plans. Please find below a more detailed program for the Freedom Drive.

A decision to move the Freedom Drive from Strasbourg to Brussels was not made lightly. For those in the Eastern part of Europe it is found that the distance may be too far to come. For those in the Western part of Europe and the North the shorter distance is welcomed, as well as the cheaper tickets to get to Brussels. Finding accessible hotels is proving a problem, but one that can be overcome. (We suggest looking in the vicinity of Brussels as well, if close to a train station or in case you are coming by car.) Accessibility of the public transport will be a challenge too – in this case though, we have a promise from the City Administration that special arrangements will be made. This is why it is important to register as soon as possible and to include the details of your accommodation. Please find the registration form here. Thank you!

Don’t forget you can participate in the General Assembly on 29th September, only if you are officially a member of ENIL! If you are not, there is still time to apply, just follow this link: http://www.enil.eu/join-enil/.

And one more reminder – please send us your nominations for the ENIL Board election! Three Board members are stepping down: Peter Lambreghts – Belgium, Miro Griffiths – UK and Germano Tosi – Italy. You can nominate yourself or another ENIL member to jamie.bolling@enil.eu by May 31, 2015.

The Freedom Drive program can be downloaded from here.

The Freedom Drive registration form can be downloaded from here.

2015 Brussels Freedom Drive
29 September – 1 October 2015

This year marks a new momentum for the ENIL Freedom Drive – after 10 successful years in Strasbourg, the Freedom Drive moves to Brussels!

Why Brussels?

Although the European Network on Independent Living (ENIL) has used the past Freedom Drives to lobby the Strasbourg institutions, such as the European Parliament and the Council of Europe, we have decided that there will be more advocacy opportunities in Brussels. Having the Freedom Drive in Brussels will give us a chance to also lobby the European Commission and the European Council on the issues of Independent Living, as well as to be closer to many other important European and international organisations, such as the Committee of Regions, UN agencies and others.

What do you need to know about the 2015 Freedom Drive?

This is the 7th Freedom Drive. The theme for this year’s event is: The Next Independent Living Generation! As in previous years, the Freedom Drive will provide an opportunity for participants from across Europe to meet with Members of the European Parliament and to discuss issues affecting their lives. The issues that will be discussed include: deinstitutionalisation, personal assistance, inclusive education, employment, portability of Independent Living services across the European Union (EU) and the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the EU. Other events that will take place include a march to the European Parliament, an international conference, the ENIL General Assembly and social events.

More information, including information about the national coordinators, Brussels (accommodation and transport), fundraising ideas, more detailed information about the events etc. will become available soon in this section. Please follow our Facebook page and Newsletter for updates.

If you are already starting to plan your trip, please consult the website Brussels for All, which contains information about accessible hotels, restaurants, transport links etc. The website is available in English, French and Dutch.

SAVE THE DATE in your calendar and join us at the 7th ENIL Freedom Drive in Brussels! For any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact Jamie Bolling at jamie.bolling[at]enil.eu and Esti Arraztio at estitxuarraztio[at]gmail.com

This website is supported by the European Union Programme for Employment and Social Solidarity - PROGRESS (2007-2013). This programme is implemented by the European Commission. It was established to financially support the implementation of the objectives of the European Union in the employment, social affairs and equal opportunities area, and thereby contribute to the achievement of the Europe 2020 Strategy goals in these fields. The seven-year Programme targets all stakeholders who can help shape the development of appropriate and effective employment and social legislation and policies, across the EU-27, EFTA-EEA and EU candidate and pre-candidate countries.