Enil brussels freedom drive 2015 Independent Living The Next Generation



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ENIL BRUSSELS FREEDOM DRIVE 2015

Independent Living – The Next Generation

September 29 – October 1, 2015

First we take Strasbourg, then we take Brussels!










Summary 4

Introduction 5

Participation 7

FD Campaign and Demands 8

Events 9

Independent Living Exhibition in the Bel Brussels 9

MEPs meetings 11

ENIL General Assembly 12

ENIL Youth Network meeting 13

March to the Parliament 14

Meeting in the Parliament 15

Film festival 17

Celebration dinner 17

Conference 18

Transport 24

Press coverage 25

FD Booklet 25

Summary of ENIL Brussels Freedom Drive 2015 26

Useful links 26

Annex I. Overview of press coverage and examples 27

Annex II. ENIL key definitions as adopted by the ENIL board in November 2012 36

Annex III. Overview of videos on PA and IL collected by ENIL 38




Summary


Between 29 September and 1 October 2015, the European Network on Independent Living (ENIL) held its biennial Freedom Drive. During the Freedom Drive participants had the chance to meet members of the European Parliament, promote Independent Living issues and exchange information.

The focus of the 7th Freedom Drive was “Independent Living - the next generation”. ENIL encourages young people to bring new ideas to the Independent Living movement and at the same time provides the youth with the necessary tools to defend their rights that are frequently threatened by budget cuts.

After six successful editions in Strasbourg, this seventh edition was, for the first time, organized in Brussels. As the capital of Europe and home to many European institutions and international NGO’s, Brussels is the perfect place to build a strong Independent Living network and to make European decision makers aware of Independent Living issues. To strengthen our voice in Brussels ENIL recently opened a Brussels office at Rue de l’Industrie 10, near the European Parliament.

The main event of the Freedom Drive was the march to the European Parliament on the 30th of September. After the march the Freedom Drivers were invited to a meeting in the Parliament hosted by MEP Marek Plura from Poland. The day at the Parliament was concluded with a disability film festival.

Other activities organized this year included national meetings with MEP’s, an Independent Living Exhibition, the ENIL Youth Network meeting, the ENIL general assembly, a celebration dinner and a conference on different aspects of Independent Living followed by discussion groups.

The Freedom Dive also provided a great opportunity to test the accessibility of the Brussels public transport network. To make sure all the Freedom Drivers could get around the city, ENIL worked out a transport plan together with the Brussels public transport provider STIB. The transport went fairly well but was partly based on segregated special transport which is against ENIL principals. ENIL hopes that this, and future Freedom Drives will keep issues on public transport accessibility high on the political agenda in Brussels.

The Brussels Freedom Drive had good national and international media coverage with a report on Euronews as one of the highlights. Other important results from this year’s Freedom Drive was a meeting with Ms. Cabral, the head of the Disability Unit from the European Commission. Several productive meetings between national delegations and MEPs also took place. There was great interest for the Independent Living exhibition and good cooperation with other National and international NGOs.

The Freedom Drive 2015 was organized in cooperation with ENIL members such as ULOBA from Norway, STIL from Sweden, Grip from Brussels, Onafhankelijk leven vzw from Ghent as well as with the support of the City of Brussels, the region of Brussels, The STIB, ATM concept, and the European Commission.


Introduction


The European Network on Independent Living (ENIL) held its biennial Freedom Drive between 29 September and 1 October 2015. The Freedom Drive has been organized since 2003, with the aim of providing an opportunity for Independent Living Freedom Drivers to meet Members of the European Parliament, promote Independent Living issues, exchange ideas and information, meet old and new colleagues and for inspiration.

After six successful editions in Strasbourg, this seventh edition was, for the first time, organized in Brussels. As the capital of Europe and home to many European institutions and international NGO’s, Brussels is the perfect place to build a strong Independent Living network and to make European decision makers aware of Independent Living issues. During the Freedom Drive Independent Living activists from all over Europe had the opportunity to meet members of the European Parliament (MEP) and representatives from the European Commission. To strengthen our voice in Brussels ENIL recently opened a Brussels office at Rue de l’Industrie 10, near the European Parliament.

The main event of the Freedom Drive was the march to the European Parliament on the 30th of September. After the march the Freedom Drivers were invited to a meeting in the Parliament hosted by MEP Marek Plura from Poland. The day at the Parliament was concluded with a disability film festival.

Other activities organized this year included a conference on different aspects of Independent Living followed by discussion groups, national meetings with MEP’s, the ENIL Youth Network meeting, the ENIL general assembly (GA) and a celebration dinner.

The focus of the 7th Freedom Drive was “Independent Living - the next generation”. ENIL encourages young people to bring new ideas to the Independent Living movement and at the same time provides the youth with the necessary tools to defend their rights that are frequently threatened by budget cuts.

Zara Todd, one of the leaders of the ENIL Youth Network, feels that one of the biggest challenges is to bring young disabled people together to exchange experiences and allow them to become aware of their right to live independent in societies still dominated by the medical approach to disability. This way we can overcome the medical model and the negative perceptions of disability and keep the movement relevant, accessible and inclusive for the generations to come. In general Zara is optimistic about the future because of the increasing number of disabled people who are willing to fight for Independent Living.

The Freedom Drive 2015 was organized in cooperation with ENIL members such as ULOBA from Norway, STIL from Sweden, Grip from Brussels, Onafhankelijk leven vzw from Ghent as well as with the support of the City of Brussels, the region of Brussels, The STIB, ATM concept, and the European Commission.

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