The EU Alliance Against Disability Cuts, headed by the European Network of Independent Living, ran an event in the European Parliament in Brussels on the 26 September to underline the threats to the rights of persons with disabilities posed by reduced investment in independent living.
The director of Autism-Europe, Aurélie Baranger, spoke to participants and Members of the European Parliament about the particular needs of autistic people when fostering community living.
Members of the EU Alliance Against Disability Cuts met with Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) in Brussels for an event on the 26 September to address growing concerns about reduced investments in independent living for persons with disabilities across Europe. The event was organised by the European Network on Independent Living (ENIL).
As well as presentations from Jamie Bolling, Executive Director of ENIL, and Bengt Westerberg, Former Minister of Social Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden, real life testimonies were given from cases in Bulgaria, Greece, Belgium and the UK. Aurélie Baranger from Autism-Europe spoke about the particular barriers are faced by people with autism when seeking their right to community living.
A number of MEPs were present to hear about the acute needs of persons with disabilities with regards to independent living funds. MEP Marek Plura from Poland, who hosted the event, spoke of his desire to see a post-2020 EU Disability Strategy where independent living is a sign of stability. Also present at the event were MEPs Mairead McGuinness from Ireland, and Helga Stevens from Belgium who pointed to the USA as an example of how the EU can better provide accessibility and support to persons with disabilities.