The Commissioner shared the European Commission’s priorities and listened to
the priorities of the disability movement, in particular the need to include
the perspective of persons with disabilities in the European Commission agenda
on employment and education, fight against poverty, accessibility
and European funds. With regards to
European funds, the Commissioner underlined that, if needed, European funds will be suspended in
case Member States do not respect the conditions agreed in the regulations.
Furthermore, Commissioner Thyssen confirmed that the Commission is taking stock of the implementation of the European Disability Strategy in the light of the UN’s Concluding Observations.
“The UN Concluding Observations to the EU require a new approach towards disability law and policy making. The EU has now a strong mandate to promote the rights of persons with disabilities. It has to make sure that especially in times of crisis –economic, migration, human rights crisis- nobody should be left or forgotten behind”, emphasised EDF President, Yannis Vardakastanis.
EUROPEAN ACCESSIBILITY ACT: COMING IN DECEMBER
During the meeting, Commissioner Thyssen confirmed that the long awaited European Accessibility Act is ready and will be discussed and possibly approved by the Collage of Commissioners on 2 December. Upon agreement, it can be published on 3 December, which is also the European Day of Persons with Disabilities. The Commissioner stressed the importance of the Accessibility Act in ensuring that innovative, affordable and accessible goods and services will be available for persons with disabilities in the EU internal market.
How broad the scope of the Act will be and the areas
that will cover are still unknown. EDF has being long campaigning for a strong
binding legislation with a broad scope that will bring a real change to the
lives of 80 million people with disabilities. We are looking forward to seeing an ambitious legislation published and
we are ready to engage in the legislative process.
A NEW STATE OF THE UNION
EDF President, Yannis
Vardakastanis, reminded the Commissioner of the commitment to have a new State of the Union on disability with
the three Presidents of the EU institutions, as well as a meeting with the College of Commissioners and the Directors General to discuss the UN’s Concluding
Observations. Commissioner Thyssen responded positively to these possibilities
acknowledging that regular contact and close cooperation are necessary.
Contact EDF: Lila Sylviti | EDF Communication officer | firstname.lastname@example.org