European Youth Portal
Information and opportunities for young people across Europe.



RUE DE L'INDUSTRIE 10, 1000, BRUXELLES, Belgium - +322 893 25 83

description of organisation

The European Network on Independent Living (ENIL) is a Europe-wide network of disabled people, with members throughout Europe. ENIL brings together Independent Living organisations and individuals, and non-disabled allies, to promote the right to live independently in the community for all disabled people. ENIL supports a human rights vision of disability based on social inclusion, solidarity, peer support, deinstitutionalisation, democracy, self-representation and self-determination across different impairment groups. ENIL’s mission is to advocate and lobby for Independent Living values, principles and practices, namely for barrier-free environment, provision of personal assistance support and adequate technical aids, together making full citizenship of disabled people possible. ENIL’s activities target European, national and local administrations, politicians, media, and the general society. ENIL works to strengthen the empowerment of disabled people mainly through providing resources for peer counselling and peer training. ENIL seeks to enhance the European disability movement by providing the arena for the sharing of experience of services and by providing expertise on the right to independent living (as set out in Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities) and personal assistance. ENIL has a strong grassroots network and is actively engaged with local Centers of Independent Living. Every year, ENIL undertakes a number of activities to raise awareness of the rights of disabled people in Europe at both a national and European Level. The Freedom Drive is ENIL’s main flagship campaign and takes place every two years. The week-long event provides an opportunity for Members of the European Parliament to meet with disabled people from across Europe and to discuss issues that are affecting their lives. It also provides an opportunity for disabled people from across Europe to come together and exchange their experiences in an informal way, as well as facilitate further development of the Independent Living movement. In the last two years, ENIL has carried out many activities focused on various issues relevant to disabled people across Europe. In 2014, ENIL organised the Campaign against the Cuts, addressing the impact austerity measures have had on the lives of disabled people in Europe. Launching the first European Independent Living Day on the 5th May, ENIL mobilised members in over twenty countries, resulting in numerous activities throughout Europe to mark this day. In view of the European Parliament elections, ENIL has launched the European Elections Campaign, consisting of the manifesto, questionnaires for MEPs and a toolkit to support disabled people to identify potential candidates that align with the Independent Living philosophy. A Training of Trainers on Peer Support was held in Sofia, Bulgaria, giving participants an opportunity to share their experiences of institutional care and to support other disabled people leaving institutional care. In 2015, ENIL held a successful Freedom Drive in Brussels for several hundred disabled people, consisting of a European conference, meetings in the European Parliament and a march to the European Commission. The same year, as part of its continued cooperation with the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE-ODIHR) on disability hate crime, ENIL organised a regional seminar in Zagreb, Croatia on how to recognize and deal with disability hate crime. One of the main projects, funded by the European Commission and the Government on Turkey, focused on promoting the right to independent living in Turkey. Towards the end of the year, ENIL also finalised a project on the right to housing with support, implemented with a group of European organisations working on disability, housing and homelessness.ENIL regularly publishes fact sheets, policy briefings and statements related to the right to independent living, as well as a monthly Newsletter. Toolkits, training manuals and reports are also published each year, targeting disabled people across Europe, representative organisations, policy and decision makers, European institutions, equality bodies, academia and the general public. ENIL's Youth Network organises regular webinars on different topics related to independent living and has held two week-long study sessions in cooperation with the Council of Europe's Youth Department (with a third study session planned for April 2016).ENIL provides regular input to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and attends Committee sessions in Geneva. Moreover, ENIL is a member of the European Disability Forum and the European Expert Group on the Transition from Institutional to Community-based Care, where it provides expertise on independent living, personal assistance and deinstitutionalisation to the European Commission and the Member States.

Participants with fewer opportunities

  • This organisation has a physical environment suitable for young people with physical, sensory or other disabilities (such as wheelchair access and similar.
  • Other experience, infrastructure and resources:

    Most of the ENIL staff are disabled people, experts by experience and have the knowledge to help with practical issues when going to activities or giving support/advice when carrying out tasks. ENIL can also help to look for a personal assistant if needed.During the 2015 Freedom Drive in Brussels, ENIL has assisted several hundred wheelchair users in getting around Brussels and has established contact with the Brussels transport companies and accessible taxi companies.

inclusion topics

This organisation is willing to involve volunteers who face situations which make their participation in activities more difficult, from the following categories for different types of project:

Inclusion categoryReceiving projectsSending projectsCoordinating projectsHosting organisationSupporting organisation

Volunteering project

Project name Project Dates Deadline Status
ESC volunteer in Brussels – European Network on Independent Living
A total of 43 week(s) during the period
Mar 2019 to Jan 2020
01/03/2019 - 01/01/2020
20/08/2018 closed

This organisation is accredited to run projects under Erasmus+ Volunteering and the European Solidarity Corps.

Scope Volunteering

Role Expiry date
PIC no: 922827155 | Last updated on 21/09/2018

Organisation topics

Disabilities - special needs