History of the EDbU

European Deafblind Union, EDbU

  • Founded 22 October 2003 in Fredericia, Denmark.
  • Registered in the Czech Republic 1 February 2007.
    Identification number: 750 982 53

  • Registered in Norway as foreign business enterprise 3 March 2009.
    Organization number: 993 738 174
  • General Assemblies:

1st founding GA, Fredericia, Denmark, 21-22 October 2003

16 national delegates were present

2nd GA, Zagreb, Croatia, 28-30 April 2008
14 national delegates were present

3rd GA, Plovdiv, Bulgaria, 22-23 May 2013

15 national delegates were present

4th GA, Finland, June 2017

  • EDbU Secretariat 2003-2017:

2003-2005: Denmark (President’s office)

2005-2008: Russia (Vice-President’s office)

2006-2008: Czech Republic (EC member/acting Secretary-General’s office)

2008-2013: Norway (Secretary-General’s office)

2013-2017: Croatia (President’s office)

Russia (Secretary-General’s office)

Norway (Treasurer’s office)

  • Membership of European Disability Forum (EDF).

Accepted as a member by the EDF Board of Directors in Stockholm 17-18 October 2009.

EDbU delegates to EDF GA:
2010: Daniel Alvares Reyes, Madrid, 8-9 May
2011: Tamás Gangl, Budapest, 28-29 May
2012: Geir Jensen, Copenhagen, 26-27 May
2013: Sanja Tarczay (Geir Jensen, observer), Athens, 24-26 May
2014: Sanja Tarczay, Zagreb, 17-18 May

  • Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the following organizations:
    European Deafblind Network (EDbN), signed 21 May 2012.
    European Forum of Sign Language Interpreters (EFSLI), signed 21 May 2012.
  • Number of members as of 30.06.2014: 20 “National Member Organizations of people with deafblindness. 3 “Associated member organizations” (1 “National and affiliate organization of people with deafblindness which is not a national member”, and 2 “Other Organizations”)


Executive Committee Meetings in the Period 2003-2014

1st term (2003-2008)

2004: 1-3 October in Warsaw (Konstancin-Jeziorna), Poland.

2005: 4-6 November in Split, Croatia.

2006: 19-21 August in Roznov pod Radhostem, Czech Republic.

2007: 2-4 March in Prague, Czech Republic.

2008: 17-21 January in Moscow, Russia.

2nd term (2008-2013)

2008: 9-11 October in Bergen, Norway.

2009: 19-22 March in Budapest, Hungary.

2009: 25 October in Kampala, Uganda.

2010: 18-25 May in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

2011: 15-18 September in Stockholm, Sweden.

2012: 20-23 May in Tuusula, Finland.

3rd term (2013-2017)

2013: 10 November in Tagatay, Philippines.

2014: 22-25 April in Zagreb, Croatia.

2014: 23-24 August in Visegrád, Hungary.

European Deafblind Holiday – ERCW

1st term, 2003-2008 (Coordinator: Jan Jakes, Czech Republic)

Jan Jakes was the coordinator from the first European Deafblind Holiday in 1997.

2004: 5-11 July in Mullsjö, Sweden.
Participants from 11 countries

2005: 3-10 July in Varna, Bulgaria.

Participants from 11 countries.

2006: 12-19 August in Roznov pod Radhostem, Czech Republic.

Participants from 13 countries.

2007: 6-12 August in Søgne, Norway.

Participants from 11 countries.

2nd term, 2008-2013 (Coordinator: Geir Jensen, Norway)

During the EC meeting in Hungary in 2009 it was decided that the European Deafblind Holiday would be called The European Rehabilitation and Culture Week for Deafblind People (ERCW), and the name was officially in use in 2010.

2008: 4-11 August in Sopron, Hungary.

Participants from 14 countries.

2009: No holiday took place.

2010: 2-8 August in Tübingen, Germany.

Participants from 15 countries.

2011: 1-7 August in Tuusula, Finland.

Participants from 15 countries.

2012: 13-19 August in Castberggård, Denmark.

Participants from 9 countries.

3rd term, 2013-2017 (Coordinator: Tamás Gangl)

2013: No ERCW.

2014: 25-31 August in Visegrád, Hungary.

The European Celebration of the Specific Capabilities of the Deafblind

Coordinator: Dimitar Parapanov, Bulgaria

2008: 1-9 September in Varna, Bulgaria.

Participants from 5 countries.

2014: 14-22 September in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

Proclamation of the Associations of the Deafblind in the Nordic Countries

We, the associations of the deafblind in the Nordic countries, have today, 3. September 1999, agreed to found the European Deafblind Union, EDbU.

The aim of the union is to develop cooperation between the associations of deafblind in all European countries, and at the same time to improve the quality of life for the deafblind.

Membership of the union is restricted to those associations of deafblind whose decisions are made by deafblind people themselves.

An interim committee for the new organization was also elected. Ove Bejsnap from Denmark was chosen as its chairman, and the following were elected as members of the committee; Kristjana Gardarsdottir (Iceland), Jane Eriksen (Sweden), Geir Jensen (Norway) and Seppo Jurvanen (Finland).

The first committee meeting of EDbU was held on the following day. Here it was decided, amongst other things, that the EDBU will hold its first congress in 2002.”

EDbU Interim Board 1999 – 2003

  • The Interim Board had the following composition:
    Ove Bejsnap, Denmark (1999-2003, 4 years).
    Geir Jensen, Norway (1999-2003, 4 years).
    Seppo Jurvanen, Finland (1999-2002, 3 years).
    Jane Eriksen, Sweden (1999-2001, 2 years).
    Kristjana Gardarsdottir, Iceland (1999-2000, 1 year).
    Svanhildur Anna Sveinsdottir, Iceland (2000-2003, 3 years).
    Mona-Britt Broberg, Sweden (2001-2003, 2 years).
    Ulla Kungas, Finland (2002-2003, 1 year).
  • The FDDB office acted as the Secretariat of the Interim Board between 1999-2003, and the FNDB office acted as assisting secretariat between 2001- 2003.
  • The Interim Board arranged five board meetings during this period:
    1999 Finland
    2000 Sweden
    2001 Denmark
    2002 Norway
    2003 Iceland
  • There was a meeting with the EBU Commission for Deafblind People held 27.08.2001. 28-29 August there was a European meeting with 11 participants from 8 countries (Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Russia and Sweden). Both meetings were held in Dronninglund, Denmark.

EDbU-EBU joint co-operation committee:

  • The main tasks of the joint co-operation committee was to:
    1. Prepare the 5th Deafblind Conference and the founding of EDbU (18-23 October 2003 in Fredericia, Denmark).
    2. Exchange general and specific knowledge and experience in the field of deaf-blindness.
  • The joint co-operation committee consisted of the following four permanent members:
    EDbU: Ove Bejsnap (Denmark) and Geir Jensen (Norway).
    EBU: Tiina Nummi-Södergren (Sweden) and Sergey Sirotkin (Russia).
  • The EDbU- EBU joint co-operation committee held three meetings:
    2001: 15-16 December in Copenhagen, Denmark.
    Observer: Stig Ohlson (WFDB)
    2002: 16-17 November in Stockholm, Sweden.
    Observers: Stig Ohlson (WFDB), Mona-Britt Broberg (FSDB)
    Lennart Nolte (SRF).
    2003: 22-23 March in Fredericia, Denmark.

EDbU EC Members and Auditors in the Period 2003-2013


Sergey Sirotkin, Russia, 2005-2013, 8 years

Ove Bejsnap, Denmark, 2003-2005, 2 years


Sanja Tarczay, Croatia, 2008-2013, 5 years

Sergey Sirotkin, Russia, 2003-2005, 2 years


Geir Jensen, Norway, 2008-2013, 5 years

Józef Mendrun, Poland, 2003-2006, 3 years

Jan Jakes, Czech Republic, 2006-2008, 2 years


Mona-Britt Broberg, Sweden, 2003-2013, 10 years

EC members:

Daniel AlvaresReyes, Spain, 2008-2013, 5 years

Tamás Gangl, Hungary, 2008-2013, 5 years

Julia Roessler, Switzerland, 2003-2008, 5 years

Jan Jakes, Czech Republic, 2003-2006, 3 years


Dimitar Parapanov, Bulgaria, 2003-2013, 10 years

Ari Suutarla, Finland, 2008-2013, 5 years

Geir Jensen, Norway, 2003-2008, 5 years

EDbU EC Members and Auditors in the Period 2013-2017



Sanja Tarczay, Croatia


Seppo Jurvanen, Finland


Sergey Fleytin, Russia


Geir Jensen, Norway

EC members:

Barbara Verna, Italy

Tamás Gangl, Hungary

Julie Rana, England

Peter Vanhoutte, Belgium

Francisco J. Trigueros Molina, Spain


Dimitar Parapanov, Bulgaria                              

Marie Lagerstrøm, Sweden



Oslo 23.07.2014


Geir Jensen,EDbU Treasurer