London’s Green MEP, Jean Lambert, will host a meeting in Strasbourg with disabled people from the UK today, supporting measures to increase independence and social inclusion. Disabled campaigners taking part in the Freedom Drive1, organized by the European Network of Independent Living (ENIL)2, are descending on the European Parliament this week as part of a wider project to empower disabled people.
The Freedom Drive is a three-day event which gives people with disabilities from all European countries the opportunity to meet their MEPs and representatives of other key EU institutions. Jean Lambert MEP, who is a member of the Disability Intergroup3, will help to engage UK MEPs in debate on developing a policy for providing Europe-wide personal assistance for disabled people.
Jean Lambert MEP said:
“I am delighted to be able to take part in the Freedom Drive this year and welcome the disabled campaigners who have travelled to Strasbourg from the UK. To overcome social exclusion and enable disabled people to fully engage in society we must provide the services that they need to live independently.”
During 2007, the European Year of Equal Opportunities for All4, the European Commission is consulting the public on new measures to tackle discrimination on the basis of disability, in areas beyond the job market5. A recent survey6 showed that 64 per cent of Europeans believe discrimination is widespread in their country and 51 per cent think that not enough is being done to combat the problem.
Notes to editors:
Photos from the Freedom Drive will be available from the Office of Jean Lambert MEP on Wednesday 5 September.
Jean Lambert: In October 2005 Jean was named MEP 2005 for Justice and Human Rights. Jean was first elected Green Party Member of the European Parliament for London in the 1999 European elections. She was re-elected in 2004. She is one of nine MEPs representing London and one of two UK Green representatives in the European Parliament.
1 For more information on the Strasbourg Freedom Drive 2007, go to:
2 The European Network of Independent Living (ENIL) is an organisation that consists of and represents disabled people who need support and assistance on a day to day basis in order to be independent and who are mainly personal assistance users. For more information, go to:
3 Jean Lambert MEP is a member of the Disability Intergroup, an all-party group of MEPs from all nationalities which works to further disability rights. The Intergroup meets in Strasbourg to discuss issues of concern to disabled people, disability groups and the EU institutions.