Historical Facts

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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:

4th GA, Finland, June 2017

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

15 national delegates were present

2nd GA, Zagreb, Croatia, 28-30 April 2008

14 national delegates were present

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

16 national delegates were present


EDBU Secretariat 2003-2017:

2013-2017: Croatia (President’s office)

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

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

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

2003-2005: Denmark (President’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:

2014: Sanja Tarczay, Zagreb, 17-18 May

2013: Sanja Tarczay (Geir Jensen, observer), Athens, 24-26 May

2012: Geir Jensen, Copenhagen, 26-27 May

2011: Tamás Gangl, Budapest, 28-29 May

2010: Daniel Alvares Reyes, Madrid, 8-9 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

  • 3rd term (2013-2017)

2014: 23-24 August in Visegrád, Hungary

2014: 22-25 April in Zagreb, Croatia

2013: 10 November in Tagatay, Philippines

  • 2nd term (2008-2013)

2012: 20-23 May in Tuusula, Finland

2011: 15-18 September in Stockholm, Sweden

2010: 18-25 May in Plovdiv, Bulgaria

2009: 25 October in Kampala, Uganda

2009: 19-22 March in Budapest, Hungary

2008: 9-11 October in Bergen, Norway

  • 1st term (2003-2008)

2008: 17-21 January in Moscow, Russia

2007: 2-4 March in Prague, Czech Republic

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

2005: 4-6 November in Split, Croatia

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

European Deafblind Holiday / ERCW

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. ERCW is officially supervised by different coordinator in 5 years term.

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

2014:  25-31 August in Visegrád, Hungary

2013:  No ERCW

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

2012:   13-19 August in Castberggård, Denmark

Participants from 9 countries

2011:   1-7 August in Tuusula, Finland

Participants from 15 countries

2010:   2-8 August in Tübingen, Germany

Participants from 15 countries

2009:   No holiday took place

2008:   4-11 August in Sopron, Hungary

Participants from 14 countries

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

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

2007:   6-12 August in Søgne, Norway

Participants from 11 countries.              

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

Participants from 13 countries

2005:   3-10 July in Varna, Bulgaria

Participants from 11 countries

2004:   5-11 July in Mullsjö, Sweden

Participants from 11 countries

The European Celebration of the Specific Capabilities of the Deafblind

Coordinator: Dimitar Parapanov, Bulgaria

2014:  14-22 September in Plovdiv, Bulgaria

2008:  1-9 September in Varna, Bulgaria

Participants from 5 countries

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:

2003 Iceland

2002 Norway

2001 Denmark

2000 Sweden

1999 Finland

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: Tina Nummi-Södergren (Sweden) and Sergey Sirotkin (Russia)

• The EDbU- EBU joint co-operation Committee held three Meetings:

2003: 22-23 March in Fredericia, Denmark

2002: 16-17 November in Stockholm, Sweden

Observers: Stig Ohlson (WFDB), Mona-Britt Broberg (FSDB), Lennart Nolte (SRF)

2001: 15-16 December in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Observer: Stig Ohlson (WFDB)

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

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

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

Józef Mendrun, Poland, 2003-2006, 3 years


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

EC members:

Daniel Alvares Reyes, 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


Oslo 23.07.2014

Geir Jensen, Treasurer EDbU