Newsletter Oct - Nov 2013
Issued on November 1 2013
The Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) represents people with disabilities and disability organisations at local, national and European level. Eighty million people in Europe are living with a disability and DFI firmly believes that the European Union (EU) must become a “One Europe for all”, fully inclusive of people with disabilities.
To this end, DFI have been members of the European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD) for the past ten years: as Chief Executive of DFI, I sit on its board, as well as being a member of the Policy Impact Group. In 2011, DFI also joined the European Movement of Ireland (EMI), a mainstream, non-disability specific network whose aim is to develop connections between Europe and Ireland. A year later, we joined the European Disability Forum (EDF) as full members. Through these networks DFI is representing Irish disability interests in Europe and exchanging models of good practice. We lobby and contribute to debate and proposals in Europe, keeping up to date with policy and legislative changes that impact disability.
Many of DFI”s members are already active in Europe. As you might remember, at the start of the year, we put out a call to those interested in forming a DFI European Network, and we received interest from over 40 organisations. We are slowly developing this network and have identified the 2014 European Elections as one of our priorities. We will keep you up to date on any events or activities that our network is involved in, including our European Election strategy.
We understand that the scope and language of Europe can be daunting but we are doing our best to navigate this new landscape. We will endeavor to communicate our learning through a new quarterly update in our newsletter, and we also invite any members to contribute to this new European segment. Most of all, our objective is to share information and experiences in order to highlight the importance of the European dimension in all our work, so that we all might make sense of Europe together and represent disability to the best degree possible.
John Dolan, Chief Executive Officer