The European Network on Independent Living (ENIL), the Opening Doors national partner in Belgium, is organising ENIL 2017 Freedom Drive that will take place between 24th and 28th September in Brussels. The ENIL Freedom Drive is one of the key campaigns 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 as to share experiences and ideas with colleagues from around Europe.
It will consist of a series of events, including the ENIL General Assembly, a conference with sessions on multiple topics, and a meeting of the ENIL Youth Network. It will culminate with a march from the European Parliament to the European Commission, under the theme ’Independent Living Heroes: Past, Present and Future’.
Goals of the ENIL 2017 Freedom Drive
- To raise the key concerns of the European Independent Living movement with the European policy and decision makers in Brussels;
- To raise awareness about the need for an accessible Brussels – our European capital;
- To remember the leaders of the European Independent Living movement who left us in 2016, such as the founder of the Freedom Drive, Martin Naughton, as well as our colleagues Peter Lambreghts and Debbie Jolly, and to celebrate and inspire current and future leaders;
- To discuss how to make the Independent Living movement more inclusive – of children with disabilities and other voices that may not be heard;
- To facilitate an exchange of ideas and knowledge on Independent Living, with the aim to inspire Independent Living activists;
- To provide opportunities for development of new ideas, strategies and partnerships.
The Freedom Drive is open to disabled people, independent living activists, their friends and allies. Participants are responsible for covering their own travel and accommodation expenses, but ENIL can provide fundraising tips in advance of the event, as well as advice about finding accessible accommodation. To find out more about the 2017 Freedom Drive, to see the agenda and to register for this year’s event please visit ENIL’s website. The deadline for registration has been extended until 31 August 2017.