6 December: 4th European Parliament of Persons with Disabilities

6 December 2017

EPPD banner

EDF in cooperation with the European Parliament is actively preparing the 4th edition of a major event: the European Parliament of Persons with Disabilities (EPPD). The EPPD is a landmark event which represents a unique opportunity for European citizens with disabilities, both leaders and grass-root activists, to have a dialogue with their elected representatives and speak up for their rights. It is a unique event which shows Parliament’s support to persons with disabilities and the importance of the dialogue between European citizens with disabilities and their MEPs. The discussions will focus on the right of persons with disabilities to vote and participate in political and public life, the European Disability Strategy 2020-2030 and the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) by the European Union (EU).

The event will take place on Wednesday 6 December (whole day) in the European Parliament in Brussels (plenary chamber). It will bring together hundreds of delegates of representative organisations of persons with disabilities from all over Europe, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and high level representatives of other EU institutions. Already more than 600 delegates with disabilities from across Europe have confirmed their participation in the event.

The President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, and EDF President Yannis Vardakastanis will open the event.

Speakers include, among others:

  • Emily O'Reilly, European Ombudsman
  • Georgios Dassis, President of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)
  • Dimitrios Papadimoulis, Vice President of the European Parliament
  • Marianne Thyssen, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility
  • Christos Stylianides, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management
  • Jana Hainsworth, President of Social Platform

During the event, delegates with disabilities will adopt a) a resolution on the European Disability Strategy, b) a manifesto on accessible European elections 2019 and c) an emergency resolution on a strong European Accessibility Act.

The resolution on the European Disability Strategy is also available in Easy To Read version here The Manifesto on accessible European elections 2019 is also available in Easy To Read version here

20 years EDF

This year, the 4th EPPD will coincide with the 20th anniversary of EDF, and the European Day of Persons with Disabilities. EDF was created in 1997 to give persons with disabilities one common voice at European level and to ensure that decisions concerning persons with disabilities are taken with persons with disabilities, through their active involvement in policy and decision-making: This is the basis of our motto ‘Nothing about us without us’.

A photo exhibition with photos from important moments of EDF's 20-year history will take place outside of the hemicycle.

The previous editions of EPPD took place in 1993, 2003 and 2012. After the 3rd EPPD, political Group Leaders agreed to hold it once per legislature.

The conference will be webstreamed live, with subtitles and international signs interpretation on the European Parliament Web TV as well as on this page on EDF wesbsite.

You can also follow all updates on EDF Facebook and Twitter pages using the hashtag: #EPdisability

Information for delegations

Those of you who are attending the 4th European Parliament of Persons with Disabilities on December 6th through the MEP visitors programme probably already have received information about the day and time of your meeting with the visitors service.

This meeting is an essential part of your programme, as it gives an overview of the Parliament, but it also ensure that the administrative steps are filled to ensure you are fully reimbursed. The meeting will clarify how reimbursements are made and explain the role of your head of delegation- who will be filling in the formed required for reimbursement. Please ensure that you keep all receipts.

Please note that sign language interpretation will be available during the visitors programme and if you require this service, please contact EDF in advance.

The meeting also gives a chance for your to meet your MEP, and none of the meetings are scheduled to take place during the programme itself so you should not miss any of the programme.

Please contact your sponsoring MEP if you have any questions.

Information for the day

**Registration will take place at the European Parliament from 8:00 to 9:30 at the PHS entrance (Paul-Henri Spaak Building, Rue Wiertz 60). Please be there as early as possible.

You will need your ID card/Passport to then go through scanners. You will be escorted to the plenary room and shown to your designated seating. There will be a detailed seating plan so that delegations can be together. Only those who have registered with EDF will be able to enter the Parliament and the Hemicycle.

A light sandwich lunch will be served near the hemicycle.

Seating plan in the hemicycle:

We have developed an indicative seating plan for the hemicycle to allow people to sit in an accessible space, with their country delegations and with good access to their interpreters. Not all seating is marked, there is free seating for most of the European NGOs/ DPOs and other partners

  • Country delegations are together- including their interpreters
  • Seats for wheelchair users are marked in green- chairs have been removed
  • Delegates with larger electric wheelchairs need to be seated towards the sides and back of the hemicycle
  • Inclusion Europe, Autism Europe and Alzheimer Europe have delegated seating as their delegations are very large
  • The press will be seated in the Balcony.

EDF staff and ushers will be in the room to help you find your allocated seating.

If you have requested a private parking slot, you can use parking ASP, through the North entrance 'entrée Nord' located in the 'Rue d'Ardenne nº 1'

Find below two maps showing how to get to the European Parliament and another one showing where the PHS entrance is

Accessible hotels and transportation in Brussels

There are a number of hotels in Brussels with accessible rooms that may accommodate persons using a wheelchair. But note there isn't a standard and the numbers of rooms are limited. Contact EDF regarding recommendations for accessible hotels.

For transportation please note that the Public transport in the city is not fully accessible. Not all tube, trams or bus stops are accessible. We advise you to check this on the website of STIB the public transport service in the city.

There are however taxi services that provide cars that can take wheelchairs. Should you need a special car note that you need to book it a bit in advance.Taxi Vert You can be reached also via phone +32 2 349 49 49

Reaching the city from the airport by train is possible but you need to call 24 hours in advance for wheelchair users and 3 hours before for other type of assistance: +32 2 528 28 28

Please expect further practical information in the coming days such as accreditation procedure and meeting point.


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