COHESION POLICY FOR ALL: COMMISSIONER HAHN COMMITS WITH THE UN CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
16 May 2012 /// It is crucial that EU money is invested on improving the lives of all European citizens, including people with disabilities. EDF wants to make sure that accessibility, non-discrimination and social inclusion, as well as the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) are key goals of the EU Structural Funds. Yesterday EDF President, Yannis Vardakastanis, met the Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn, in order to discuss the future Cohesion Policy 2014-2020.
Preventing and eliminating barriers to accessibility and promoting employment, education and social inclusion for people with disabilities should be a condition to fulfill in order to receive EU money. This is a clear message that the European Parliament and the European Commission have sent recently to the Member States, after they have threatened EU treaties by silently accepting the Danish Presidency’s move to delete disability as ex-ante conditionality, watering down the partnership principle and threatening the development of community based services.
> COMMISSIONER HAHN SUPPORTS EDF’S POSITION ON STUCTURAL FUNDS
The Commissioner Johannes Hahn and EDF President, Yannis Vardakastanis, agreed upon the use of EU Structural Funds as an indispensable tool to promote equal opportunities and accessibility for persons with disabilities and as a fundamental instrument for the implementation of the UNCRPD. People with disabilities have a potential to support Europe way out of the crisis and EU Structural Funds should ensure that this potential is used.
“The Cohesion Policy should promote and finance the implementation of the UN Convention and the promotion of the rights of people with disabilities. The Cohesion Policy package is one of the most important proposals that will be negotiated in 2012 and it could serve as a test for the EU to ensure full implementation of the UNCRPD in practice in EU policy making”, stressed Yannis Vardakastanis. The President also welcomed the partnership principle but reminded the need to enhance the capacity of organisations representing people with disabilities to fully take part in the process.
Commissioner Johannes Hahn confirmed that “all measures in the draft-regulation for 2014-2020, improving accessibility of disabled persons, including horizontal ex-ante conditionalities, like implementation of UNCPRD, are fully supported by the European Commission" and that “adequate implementation of the UNCRPD by the EU and the Member States will be promoted throughout the negotiation of the programming documents”.
What was also underlined during the meeting was the need and importance of:
- mainstreaming disability across all policy making by the services of the European Commission;
- effective monitoring of implementation of the disability-related provisions in the Structural Funds in close cooperation with persons with disabilities and their representative organisations as partners.
> WHAT EDF WANTS
- Promotion of accessibility for persons with disabilities via inclusion of accessibility as a horizontal principle together with non-discrimination
Find the media release from our recent Workshop on Structural Funds at the European Parliament here
Find our joint statement on Structural Funds here
Read the OHCHR publication: Getting a Life – Living Independently and Being Included in the Community
A Legal Study of the Current Use and Future Potential of the EU Structural Funds to Contribute to the Achievement of Article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. (Prof. Gerard Quinn, Director of the Center for Disability Law and Policy)
> CONTACT EDF
Simona Giarratano | +32 2 503 12 27| firstname.lastname@example.org