Strong encouragements by Napolitano, President of the Italian Republic, to disabled citizen’s campaign “1million4disability”
Three weeks before the street mobilisation that will take place in Brussels in favour of stronger disability legislation in Europe, Giorgio Napolitano expresses its encouragements and appreciation for the work and campaign led by the European Disability Forum (EDF)
Brussels, 14 September 2007 - “I wish to express my great appreciation for the decade’s commitment of the European Disability Forum to legislative measures against all forms of discrimination towards persons with disabilities, as well as for the campaign “1million4 disability”. Belonging to Europe, as a common patrimony of values and endeavour to improve the cohesion of our society, compels institutions, political forces, and citizens to fight all forms of discrimination and, in particular, those based on different physical or mental abilities. For this reason, I wish to send to the organisers of the campaign “1million4disability” my strong encouragement for their commendable action aimed at contributing to the promotion of legislation against discrimination towards persons with disabilities”, expressed Napolitano in a message addressed yesterday to the European Disability Forum.
“It is with great satisfaction that we have received this message, which recognises our strong efforts to combat discrimination and to improve the inclusion of 50 million disabled people in Europe” declared Yannis Vardakastanis, President of the European Disability Forum. “We will continue being there, at the forefront, fighting for our rights”.
The encouragements of President Napolitano, who was the former President of the Constitutional Affairs Committee of the European Parliament between 1999-2004 and played an active role in the discussions about the future of Europe, bring a new impetus to EDF’s campaign “1million4disability” (www.1million4disability.eu). At the present stage, more than half a million EU citizens have already signed, both manually and electronically, the campaign petition in favour of stronger European disability legislation.
In the framework of this citizens’ campaign, based on the principle of participatory democracy, next 4th of October, from 13H00 to 15H00 at Rond Point Schuman in Brussels, disabled people’s delegations from the 29 EU Member States will be gathering to call the EU to take a stand for disability rights. The President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Pöttering, and the Portuguese Presidency have already confirmed their presence at this outdoor gathering.