2006 Nottwil


In the rehabilitation center in Nottwil, Switzerland, together with sixteen national European organizations, we adopted the Statute on the establishment of the European Federation of Paraplegics and Tetraplegics (European Spinal Cord Injury Federation ESCIF). In addition to Slovenia, the following countries participated in the founding congress : Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, England, Scotland, Ireland, Spain, Lithuania, Belgium, Austria, Croatia and Switzerland. The Slovenian delegation consisted of: Mirjam Kanalec, Dane Kastelic and Benjamin Žnidaršič.

The most important vision of the founding congress is to unite people with spinal cord injuries in the area of Europe and later in the area of the whole world. The function of the new international organization will be to lead and promote the interests of people with spinal cord injury. In addition, the new organization will advocate for: closer formation between individual national organizations, joint work related to issues of integration into society of people with spinal injuries, exchange of information and protection of the interests of national umbrella organizations in connection with other organizations.

At the congress, there was an exhausting coordination of the proposals for the first draft of the statute. Due to the different organization of the national federations, some important decisions were made. • A uniform name of the organization in English was adopted, which most adequately characterizes the composition of the new organization. • Each country can have a maximum of two delegates and one electoral vote. • The minimum annual membership fee is €300 for 2006. • The assembly of delegates is the highest body of the newly founded organization, which is represented in public by the president through the board of directors and the secretary. The president and the board of directors are elected for four years. Dr. was elected president.

Daniel Joggi (Switzerland), vice president Jane Horsewell (Denmark), Pekka Hatinenen (Finland), Ester Peris (Spain) and Adrian Odonell (England) were elected to the board of directors . Urs Styger (Switzerland) became the secretary of the union. 

Daniel Joggi , president of the Association of Paraplegics of Switzerland and the new president of ESCIF: “I am extremely happy that we have managed to unite so many national organizations that want to raise the level of connecting people with spinal injuries. Even in the future, we will try to attract to our ranks all other national organizations that have not yet connected with us.” 

Raffaele Goretti , president of the Association of Paraplegics of Italy: “The fundamental task of integration has been achieved, but now we still have a lot of work to do. National organizations each have their own interests, which will be difficult to reconcile. Especially with the accession of new countries.” Dr. Alberto de Pinto , president of the Federation of Paraplegics of Spain: “Democracy is hard, as we saw today, but it was worth the effort to create such an organization that will bring everyone a lot of satisfaction and new knowledge.” 

Mirjam Kanalec , delegate of the Association of Paraplegics of Slovenia: “With the new experience, the Association of Paraplegics of Slovenia has become even closer to Europe, which it has been in for quite some time. The Slovenian delegation made a significant impact on today’s congress with its proposals, and will continue to strive to represent the opinion of Slovenian paraplegics and tetraplegics in the future.”