The EU Budget and the U.N. CRPD

The European Union and all of its member states have ratified the UN Convention on the Right of Persons with Disabilities. Therefore, all aspects of the budget proposals need to ensure that EU funds are not creating new barriers for persons with disabilities (for example using EU funds in Europe or outside Europe to build inaccessible public infrastructure, or using EU funds to build institutions for persons with disabilities).

We will advocate to:

  • ensure all safeguards are in place to prevent this, and that proper monitoring takes place at both the EU and the national level, with the involvement of representative organisations of persons with disabilities.

  • we will work with our partners to ensure a maximum amount of EU funds is dedicated to Social Cohesion and Social Inclusion in Europe.

Cohesion and Values is the heading that encompasses most of the main funding instruments for social inclusion, education, employment and accessibility for persons with disabilities, gender equality and non-discrimination and for the financing of organisations of persons with disabilities in Europe, both European and national networks.

Our horizontal recommendations

All programmes of the next EU budget should incorporate the following principles:

Completely aligned to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and promoting human rights and women’s rights

The EU and all its member states have ratified the Convention - therefore this human rights convention should be referenced in every programme and actions should be aligned to the Convention. Actions should promote the implementation of the Convention, and no funds should be invested in actions which are contrary to the Convention (such as inaccessible infrastructure or segregating institutions for persons with disabilities).

Sustainable Development

The next EU budget must serve the implementation and monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals. The EU budget must increase social inclusion and provide financial means to implement disability-inclusive SDGs, in Europe and in international cooperation. The use of European Funds must serve the fight against poverty so all persons with disabilities can access adequate, affordable and accessible services.

Accessibility

The EU budget should only be invested in fully accessible infrastructure and services so that persons with disabilities benefit from the funding. EU funds should not be used to invest in new barriers.

Independent living for persons with disabilities

No funding should be invested in segregation or institutionalised living arrangements for persons with disabilities. Resources should be invested in community support, accessible housing and transport, vocational training, employment, to promote independent living, inclusive education and making mainstream services accessible to persons with disabilities.

Social Inclusion

In each programme, whether it is employment, education, youth, gender equality, training, persons with disabilities need to be explicitly included with accessibility and reasonable accommodation guaranteed. Specific actions should be included to tackle poverty, and promote inclusion of persons with disabilities. Mobility programmes should always include budget for support of persons with disabilities, such as budget for personal assistant and other accommodations.

Promoting inclusive civic dialogue and partnership.

Civil dialogue should be formally established and incorporated at each stage of policy and programming to ensure citizens voices are heard and policies and programmes reach and are inclusive of all people. Programmes should be implemented in partnership, including well resourced civil society partners.

Investment in organisations of persons with disabilities.

The EU budget must invest in building the capacity and meaningfully engaging with representative organisations of persons with disabilities.

Accountability.

In order to ensure that persons with disabilities are included data and indicators need to be included in each programme. Data should be disaggregated by age, gender and disability. Each entity which benefits from EU funds should report on how persons with disabilities were included.

International cooperation

The EU must keep its commitments to the UN CRPD by continuing including disability as a cross-cutting issue in the heading on international cooperation in the next MFF and the subsequent financial instruments, including the trust funds. Disability inclusion is a decisive cross-cutting element to achieve also the 2030’s Agenda’s objectives.