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ENIL 2017 Freedom Drive- Brussels, Belgium

24/09/2017 - 28/09/2017

The ENIL Freedom Drive is one of the key campaigns of the European Network on Independent Living (ENIL) – held every two years since 2003. It provides supporters of the Independent Living Movement with the unique opportunity to meet Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and promote human rights issues, as well to share experiences and ideas with colleagues from around Europe. The first 6 editions of the event took place in Strasbourg, until 2015, when for the first time the venue was changed to Brussels for strategic reasons. The ENIL 2017 Freedom Drive will take place between 24th and 28th September, in Brussels again. It will be dedicated to Martin Naughton – the father of the ENIL Freedom Drive – who we lost in 2016. It will consist of a series of events, culminating with a march from the European Parliament to the European Commission, under the theme ’Independent Living Heroes: Past, Present and Future’. ENIL invites all the members, disabled people’s organisations, disabled people and allies to join us in Brussels during this exciting week, so that we can once again show we are proud, strong and visible!

Overview of the week*

24 September

18:00h-20:00h – Freedom Drive Kick-off; venue to be announced

25 September

Motivational Events – four meetings on the following topics:

1) Setting up a CIL

2) Setting up a national youth network

3) Support for parents and allies to their children


Spaces are limited to 20 persons per meeting, so register quickly by sending an email to dilyana.deneva@enil.eu as registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Venue: Meeting rooms at Mundo J, Rue de l’Industrie 10

26 September

National MEP meetings – if you need support for planning your meeting, you can request an ENIL Staff or Board member to brief your group. You can do so by sending an email to Dilyana Deneva at dilyana.deneva@enil.eu

Venue: European Parliament

27 September

10:00h – 12:30h: March from the European Parliament to the European Commission under the theme ’Independent Living Heroes: Past, Present and Future’

Venue: Meeting point near the European Parliament (TBC)

12:30h – 13:30h  Pre-conference lunch (for conference participants)

14:00h – 17:00h   ENIL Freedom Drive Conference on the topic ’Independent Living: A Voice for All’

Venue: Autoworld, Parque de Cirquantenaire 11

14:00h – 14:30 Opening session with Commissioner Thyssen

Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility Marianne Thyssen will open the conference. Two sessions will follow during which children’s voices are to be heard.

14:30h – 15:45h   Panel 1 – The protection of children’s rights under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD)

15:45h – 16:45h   Panel 2 – Moving on to better inclusion and participation of disabled children in the disability movement

16:45h – 17:00h   Conference Closure

17:30h – 19:30h   ENIL General Assembly

19:30h – 23:00h   ENIL Freedom Drive Celebration Cocktail and Dinner

28 September

Independent Living development meeting

14:00h – 16:00h    Meeting on Human Rights

Places will be booked on a first-come, first-served basis as they are limited to 20 persons.

Venue: Meeting room at Mundo J, Rue de l’Industrie 10

*Please note that this programme is subject to changes.

For further information, send an email to Dilyana Deneva at dilyana.deneva@enil.eu


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Dilyana Deneva
Jamie Bolling
European Network on Independent Living – ENIL