FIMITIC calls for action in Estonia

FIMITIC which traditionally meets with members in countries of its advisory body meetings recently met in Tallinn on July 08-11, 2004 in response of the joint evaluation of the disability policy situation which called on to speed up its work and adapt to the need of ever - increasing demands of its member countries.

On the initiative of the FIMITIC Board a joint meeting with the Board of its national member association ELIL (Estonian Union of Persons with Mobility Impairment) was held in Tallinn on July 09, 2004.The FIMITIC Board was impressed by the high quality of contributions made during the meetings with its member association ELIL and at the Joint Seminar with delegations of the FIMITIC member and partner associations in the Baltic States, taken place at the ELIL headquarters afterwards with the main topic:  "Socio-political situation of disabled people in Europe - strengthening the movement of physically disabled people in the region".

A FIMITIC information sheet and a media release were launched. The great interest of the media was demonstrated by presence of quite a number of journalists of different daily newspapers, radio and television stations.

Written contributions were submitted by the organizations of physically disabled people in Estonia (-ELIL- Chairman Ants Leemets), Latvia (Chairwomen Daiga Dadzite, Latvian Association of People with Mobility Impairments -PONTES-, Riga) and Lithuania (Chairwomen Zita Valaityte, Association of Physically Disabled in Lithuania -LID-, Vilnius), demonstrated by presentations on the spot as well.

The ELIL meeting was chaired by its Leader Ants Leemets, the Baltic States Seminar by the FIMITIC President.

The discussions focused on the following issues:

General information on national and international level, legislation, structure of authorities, organizations of physically disabled people, education, employment and vocational training, accessibility, services for people with disabilities, social security benefits as well as health and rehabilitation matters.

FIMITIC has shown its way of action to empower the member associations, especially those in Central and Eastern Europe, towards awareness raising, strategy to change the attitudes and to improve the quality of life as well as the practical cooperation measures. This was supported by FIMITIC´ s current examples of experience for many years.

The clear mission was to develop a better understanding for the different socio-political facets of disability issues, to provide possibilities for exchange of views, experiences, to learn from good examples and to speed up the road to reform and actions needed to achieve a legal end to discrimination of people with physical disability.

An overall view on the legal situation of disabled people in the different European countries was given in this connection by the FIMITIC President Marija-Lidija Stiglic. A well done presentation concept about legislation and disability issues in Slovenia and the adoption of the disability clause in the Article 14 of the Slovene Constitution as a positive result of the lobbying process by the disability NGOs in Slovenia was shown by the FIMITIC Vice-President Marjan Kroflic.


The Estonian Ministry for Social Affairs was represented by Sirlis Sõmer, Head of Social Welfare Department. She highlighted what was done in Estonia (from the government perspective) and focussed on different aspects how social programmes can support the inclusion.

Receptions were given by Sirlis Sõmer, Head of Social Welfare Department, on behalf of the Estonian Ministry for Social Affairs and by Ene Tomberg, Head of the Health Care Department, on behalf of the Tallinn City Government, on the occasion of the international Tallinn meetings.

The exchange of views during the personal talks on all levels was revealing and of utmost importance for future co-operation.

This first regional seminar in Tallinn, Estonia was a follow-up of an earlier one already held by FIMITIC in Riga, Latvia in 1999.

(see also the Media Release, the presentation papers and the photo gallery)



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