About ECCL

What is the European Coalition for Community Living?

The European Coalition for Community Living (ECCL) is a Europe-wide cross disability initiative working towards the social inclusion of people with disabilities by promoting the provision of comprehensive, quality community-based services as an alternative to institutionalisation. ECCL was founded in 2005 by ENIL, Autism Europe, the Center for Policy Studies of the Central European University, the European Disability Forum, Inclusion Europe, Mental Health Europe and the Open Society Mental Health Initiative.

As from the beginning of 2008, ECCL has been a project of the European Network on Independent Living (ENIL). In running ECCL, ENIL is advised by an Advisory Council made up of renowned disability activists and experts, which meets once a year.

ECCL’s mission is to advocate for and monitor progress towards de-institutionalisation in Europe, campaign for, and provide information on, the development of comprehensive, quality community-based services and de-institutionalisation.

ECCL works as a network of disability organisations, service provider organisations, research institutes and individual supporters. Thanks to its diverse membership, ECCL is able to monitor developments across Europe, influence the national and regional policy and support the efforts of its members by exchanging information and examples of good practice.

ECCL uses the following definition of the term “institution”:

“An institution is any place in which people who have been labelled as having a disability are isolated, segregated and/or compelled to live together. An institution is also any place in which people do not have, or are not allowed to live together. An institution is also any place in which people do not have, or are not allowed to exercise control over their lives and their day-to-day decisions. An institution is not defined merely by its size.”

ECCL is a cross-disability initiative and targets all actors involved in the process of de-institutionalisation and the development and provision of community-based alternatives – local, national and regional authorities, the European Union, disability and other non-governmental organisations, service provider organisations and staff of the existing institutions.

Membership of ECCL is open to all organisations and individuals concerned with community living and de-institutionalisation of persons with disabilities.