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Strasbourg, 15 January 2015 | The Disability Intergroup of the European Parliament held this morning its first meeting after its re-establishment. During the meeting, the whole Bureau of the Disability Intergroup was elected, and now it consists of 4 co-presidents and 8 vice-presidents. This new structure will allow a broad consensus through which the Disability Intergroup can effectively promote the rights of persons with disabilities inside the European Parliament and in Europe.

EDF will continue holding the secretariat of the Disability Intergroup and working in close cooperation with it.

Co-presidents: Photo of the new bureau of the disability intergroup

- Ádám Kósa (EPP, Hungary)

- Richard Howitt (S&D, UK)

- Helga Stevens (ECR, Belgium)

- Pablo Echenique-Robba (GUE/NGL, Spain)


- EPP: Rosa Estaràs-Ferragut (Spain) and Marek Plura (Poland)

- S&D: Olga Sehnavolá (Czech Republic) and Brando Benifei (Italy)

- ECR: Jana Žitnanská (Slovakia)

- ALDE: Marian Harkin (Ireland)

- GUE/NGL: Kostadinka Kuneva (Greece)

- Greens/EFA: Indrek Tarand (Estonia)


The Disability Intergroup is a very important group for EDF, to ensure that the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) is implemented by and within the European Parliament and across Europe.

This year is a critical year for EDF, for the European Parliament and all EU institutions. The UN CRPD Committee will examine the progress that the EU has made since it ratified the UN CRPD. It is the first time that any human rights body examines and makes recommendations to a regional organisation. EDF hopes that the Disability intergroup will actively contribute to all stages of the dialogue between the UN CRPD Committee and the EU including through report and plenary debate.

EDF also looks forward to working closely with the European Parliament on the review of the European Disability Strategy and the Europe 2020, as well as on the adoption of the European Accessibility Act and of the general anit-discrimination directive.

The UN CRPD in its article 4.3 calls on State Parties to actively involve persons with disabilities through their representative organisations. To this end, EDF will continue to work very closely with the Disability Intergroup of the European Parliament.


The Disability Intergroup of the European Parliament is an informal grouping of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from all nationalities and all political groups who are interested in promoting the the rights of persons with disabilities at the European Parliament as well as at national level. The Disability Intergroup is one of the oldest Intergroups of the European Parliament; it was established in 1980.

Throughout its years of existence, the Disability Intergroup has been a key ally in advocating for and advancing the rights of persons with disabilities in the European Parliament. It also contributes to enabling participation of persons with disabilities in decisions that concern them. It remains for the moment the only grouping of disability-friendly MEPs.