Disability Intergroup & EDF agree on 2018 priorities

Brussels,
24 January 2018
Panorama image of the EDF Intergroup Reception with MEP speaking to the room

A decisive year for the European Parliament

On 24 January 2018, the EDF Executive Committee met the Bureau of the Disability Intergroup of the European Parliament. The members of EDF Executive Committee represent both the EU and the national umbrella organisations of persons with disabilities. They discussed with Adam Kosa (EPP), Olga Sehnalova (S&D), Helga Stevens (ECR), Brando Benifei (S&D) and Marian Harkin (ALDE) about common priorities and challenges for 2018. The 2- hour discussion in the Parliament focused on:

  • The role of the European Parliament in the follow up of the UN’s Concluding Observations on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the report that the European Parliament is preparing
  • A plan to declare 2021 as the next European Year for Disabled Persons
  • The upcoming negotiations between the European Parliament and Council on the European Accessibility Act - see more below
  • The next European Disability Strategy 2020-2030
  • The Sustainable Development Goals
  • The EU Pillar of Social Rights
  • European Structural Funds
  • Passengers’ Rights
  • Campaigns focusing on drawing up local support for such measures.

The proposal for an Accessibility Act triggered an intensive discussion between the EDF Executive committee members and MEPs. EDF members outlined the key aspects to be addressed during the upcoming negotiations between the Parliament and the Council, acknowledging that the starting point is not by any means as ambitious as EDF and its members expected. Nevertheless, the Disability Intergroup MEPs also committed to do their utmost to push for the best outcome possible and encouraged EDF representatives to advocate as much as possible at national level as well.

EDF, as the umbrella organisation of persons with disabilities, and the Disability Intergroup, as the oldest and largest group of MEPs promoting disability rights, have a strong and lasting partnership. It is the intention of both sides to continue intensive cooperation and to continue to discuss our shared political priorities, at least on an annual basis. EDF provides the secretariat to the Disability Intergroup. Find out more about the Disability Intergroup at EDF's website.

The next event of the Disability Intergroup is on Rail Passengers’ Rights on February 28th at 1pm to 3pm in ASP 141.

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