Nr. 4    January 2011
Published by European Co-operation in
Anthroposophical Curative Education and Social Therapy

Postbox 560, NL-3700 AN Zeist, The Netherlands
tel. +31 30 694 55 40; fax +31 30 694 55 90;;
Adrienne Thier, Roelien Kort, Bernard Heldt


Lautenbach (DE)

ECCE wishes its members and 
an active and inspiring 2011



- Word of the president
- European Disability Strategy 2010-2020
- European Union ratifies UN Convention
- One million EU signatures for ELIANT
- Sustainable inclusion in society
- Searching for Traces; congress for people with learning disabilities
- Reminder: next General Meeting in Finland, May 19th – 22nd 2011
- New representatives and goodbyes
- Overview conferences and meetings 2011
- Appeal


Word of the president

Dear members and friends,

First of all I wish the members, the sister organisations at the European level and all those interested in the work and the cause ECCE stands for, a very happy and healthy 2011 on behalf of the Committee.

Secondly I want to remember and wish particular strength to the initiative in Hungary, Szimbiózis, which had to cope with terrible floods in May last year. Another catastrophe took place in Casa Santa Isabel in Portugal. A fire destroyed a house where a group of residents lived. A co-worker and her little daughter lost their lives in this fire. The Committee members and myself express once more our full sympathy.

A LINK for and between the members of ECCE. That is how I started the edition of the first digital LINK almost a year ago. I am very happy that the secretary general, Bernard Heldt and our assistant, Roelien Kort, continue to issue this LINK and to make it a real “link” between the members. This LINK is the only way to communicate between the members of an organisation that lives and works in almost all countries of Europe!
However, to transform this LINK in a real “link” between the members we still would like the members to take a more active part in the editing by sending us copy about what is going on in their initiatives, about the problems they have to cope with, about the questions they live with. 
The LINK is part of the action of the Committee to communicate more with the members and with like-minded organisations at the European level and the curative education and social therapy level in Dornach.

The Committee will have in the very near future a discussion with the Secretary of the Council for Curative Education and Social Therapy, Rüdiger Grimm, about the future activities and the role of ECCE at the European level. The Committee of ECCE and this Council want to reflect on the first impulse that gave rise to the creation of ECCE in 1992.
The Committee will give more information about this reflection at its General Meeting in May in Finland.

As you may read in this LINK, the alliance ELIANT has reached the goal of 1 million signatures in the end of 2010. We are preparing the presentation of those signatures in the beginning of this year.

The ratification of the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities by the European Union and the launch of the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 are important steps to its full implementation at the European level. You will find more information about this further on in this LINK.

Brussels January 2011,
Adrienne Thier, president


European Disability Strategy 2010-2020:
A Renewed Commitment to a Barrier-Free Europe

On November 15th 2010, Commissioner Viviane Reding of Justice and Fundamental Rights, launched the new European Disability Strategy ‘A renewed commitment for a Barrier-free Europe’. This sets out a series of strategies and actions to improve equality for people with disabilities and break down barriers that prevent them from fully enjoying their rights as citizens and consumers.

One in six people in the European Union (EU) has a disability that ranges from mild to severe making around 80 million who are often prevented from taking part fully in society and the economy because of environmental and attitudinal barriers. For Contact Living in the Encounterpeople with disabilities the rate of poverty is 70% higher than the average (EU Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC), 2004), partly due to limited access to employment.
Over a third of people aged over 75 have disabilities that restrict them to some extent, and over 20% are considerably restricted. Furthermore, these numbers are set to rise as the EU's population ages.
The EU and its Member States have a strong mandate to improve the social and economic situation of people with disabilities.

This Strategy is intended to harness the combined potential of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and the UN Convention, and to make full use of Europe 2020 and its instruments. It sets in motion a process to empower people with disabilities, so that they can participate fully in society on an equal basis with others. As Europe’s population ages, these actions will have a tangible impact on the quality of life of an increasingly large proportion of its people. The EU institutions and the Member States are called upon to work together under this Strategy to build a barrier-free Europe for all.

ECCE secretary general Bernard Heldt states: “Unfortunately the European Disability Strategy does not pay special attention to people with complex dependency needs. This apparently forgotten group of people with disabilities need special measures to enable them to live a dignified life with appropriate professional guidance. If the European Commission really wants to include people with complex dependency needs in a sustainable way in society, then they should take their position seriously. I think this must be a spearhead in ECCE’s strategy.”


European Union ratifies UN Convention
on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

On January 5th 2011, the European Union ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which constitutes the first time that the EU has become a party to an international human rights treaty. Moreover, the European Union is the first international organisation which has become a formal party of the UN Convention. For the European Union, this means ensuring that all legislation, policies and programmes at EU level comply with the Convention's provisions on disability rights, within the limits of EU competences.

The EU signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on March 30th 2007. It has since been signed by all 27 EU countries and a further 120 states worldwide.


One million EU signatures for ELIANT - EU total: 1,001,671 world (non-EU) total: 118,630

On December 15th 2010 ELIANT crossed the threshold of 1 million signatures in the European Union. Worldwide this threshold had been passed already in March 2010.
ELIANT is an alliance of 10 European associations of applied anthroposophy active in the fields of agriculture and nutrition, medicine, general and special needs education. As an NGO ELIANT advocates humanitarian and cultural aims and calls for a legal framework in Europe which acknowledges and supports the citizens’ rights for a diversity of modes of life and choices, particularly with regard to the areas mentioned.

The steering committee of ELIANT is organising the presentation of the signatures to the European Commission. A Memorandum to accompany these signatures is written by all ELIANT member organisations, such as ECCE. We will inform you when we know more about this process.
ELIANT will submit the Memorandum to the Commission as a contribution to an open and transparent dialogue between the EU institutions and civil society. ELIANT refers to Article 11 of the Treaty on the EU and to the Commission’s wish to enhance this dialogue within the Europe 2020 Strategy.
The Memorandum aims at opening a debate on the risk that European mainstream policy and legislation may unduly restrict valuable activities and lifestyles of smaller groups of citizens. The founding group of ELIANT

ECCE president Adrienne Thier and secretary general Bernard Heldt are member of the initiative group of ELIANT. Bernard Heldt was the first subscriber.

Concerning the European and neighbour countries the signatures are spread as follows:

Germany 419.414 - Netherlands 163.269 - France 122.765 - Italy 59.970 - Belgium 45.879 – Sweden 37.116 - Norway 4.907 - Austria 33.974 - United Kingdom 29.994 - Denmark 18.359 - Spain 17.386 - Russia 3.350 - Finland 11.816 - Hungary 6.981 - Croatia 1.963 - Czech Republic 6.308 - Slovenia 6.086 - Romania 5.151 - Estonia 3.509 - Iceland 711 - Portugal 2.460 - Slovakia 1.861 - Ukraine 638 - Latvia 1.779 - Ireland 1.738 - Israel 507 - Luxemburg 1.662 - Poland 1.295 - Greece 1.036 - Bulgaria 949 - Lithuania 824 - Serbia & Montenegro 204 - Moldavia 134 - Liechtenstein 108 - Cyprus 69 - Andorra 37 - Malta 21 - Lebanon 14 - Syria 11 - Albania 4 - Jordan 3 - Palestine 1


Sustainable inclusion in society

The following text is the ECCE paragraph of the Memorandum to the attention of the President of the European Commission, to be submitted by ELIANT.

The situation of people with special needs, like learning disabilities and complex dependency needs, asks for special attention. ELIANT represents these people, their parents, family members, professional staff members and therapists in all European countries. They ask urgently for appropriate measures to guarantee the professional support and guidance they need.
Congress The Hague Oct 2008The recent adoption of the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020, on the basis of the UN Convention on the rights of People with Disabilities, is a very hopeful signal for these people. Nevertheless there still is a lack of possibilities:
- to move and live freely in the European Union,
- to have a freedom of choice for an personal living environment,
- to eat food without artificial nutrients,
- to choose freely for anthroposophical medicines and therapies, prescribed by 
  university educated and registered medical doctors,
- for an education that is tailored to their needs according to the educational
  convictions of their parents and
- to contribute to society by handicraft and artistic activities.
These choices would contribute strongly to sustainable inclusion in society.

If the European Commission really wants to include people with learning disabilities and complex dependency needs in a sustainable way in society, then they should take their position seriously , regarding the European Charter of Fundamental Rights and the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020. Anthroposophical curative education and social therapy has proven its value for those people for almost 90 years, all over Europe! Every opportunity should be available to people with learning disabilities and complex dependency needs. They should be supported by legislation, so that they may take advantage of appropriate professional guidance when ever needed. This would contribute to their experience of dignified behaviour towards them and be compatible with their own human dignity, individual development and freedom of choice in a pluralist and cultural diverse society.


Reminder: 5th European Congress Living in the Encounter

‘Searching for traces’ in Vienna,
August 3 - 6, 2011
The European Congresses 'Living in the encounter' are held for people with special needs. After Berlin, Dornach, Prague and The Hague, the fifth congress is taking place in Vienna, the capital city of Austria.
700 congress participants from all over the world are expected again for an extraordinary festival of encounters. In this city of music, with its special atmosphere, the coffee houses, horse-drawn carriages – in Vienna, they are called Fiaker – and magnificent buildings.
Diverse opportunities for encounters will be offered and the history of famous personalities can be traced. Let`s search for traces…

Online registration is now made possible:


Reminder: Next General Meeting in Finland, May 19th – 22nd 2011

The representatives of our members are heartily welcome to our next General Meeting in Camphill community Sylvia-koti in Lahti, Finland on May 19th 18.00h  – May 22nd 12.00h 2011.Sylvia-koti

Kyläkatu 140
FI-15700 Lahti
Tel:  +358 3883 130
Fax: +358 3883 1315

As you have read in this Link, the main topic of this meeting is the reflection on how ECCE has developed in the past and how it is moving now in a changing Europe. The EU bases her New Disability Strategy on the renewed UN-Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
What questions are living in the movement, what is the content to bring out and what instruments do we have at our disposal?

More information will follow...


New representatives and goodbyes

Goodbye to Brigitte Kaldenberg, welcome to Mr. Jorgos Kalyvas
In 2005 Brigitte Kaldenberg joined ECCE as representative for the SwissBrigitte Kaldenberg Association for Curative Education and Social Therapy. We learned to know her as a faithful representative with serious contributions to our discussions. She decided to retreat from ECCE and we are sorry to see her go.

Mr. Jorgos Kalyvas will take the baton from Brigitte. Born in Switzerland and raised in Greece, he works for over ten years now in Beatusheim in the north eastern part of Switzerland. Currently he is principal of the institution.
Mr. Kalyvas: "Why I have decided to join ECCE as a representative? I think it is important to further good communication between the field of curative education and social therapy in Switzerland and the care for people with learning disabilities in the EU in general".
We will warmly welcome him in our next General Meeting in Finland.

Goodbye to Chris van Teeseling, welcome to Mrs. Anneke Schlemper

Chris van Teeseling (left)In 2003 Chris van Teeseling joined ECCE as representative for the Dutch parent organisation LOV. His critical and loyal contributions enriched the discussions and his cheerful personality enlivened the social evenings of our meetings with songs and humour.

Unfortunately, due to health reasons Chris decided to withdraw.

Mrs. Anneke Schlemper will be his successor for LOV. We will warmly welcome her!


Overview conferences and meetings 2011

please click:


Appeal to our members and friends to send in copy

In order to make the ECCE LINK more vivid and actualized, the editors ould be very pleased if members and friends send in news items or memorable issues to inform the other members.  It is our intention to develop the LINK to an information platform for what is going on in ECCE member organisations.

We also would like to be informed about events and conferences which would be of interest for our members and other LINK readers.

Please send your copy to

Adrienne Thier
Bernard Heldt
Roelien Kort