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
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 people
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
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
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.
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.
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
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: www.in-der-begegnung-leben.eu
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
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
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 Swiss
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
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
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
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: application.budgetmailer.com/UserImages/1597/image/Overview%20conferences%20jan%202011.pdf
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org