Disability Intergroup MEPs & EDF agree on 2017 priorities

11 January 2017

New disability rights agenda, mainstreaming disability rights in all EU policies and access to political participation at the heart of the discussion

Group photo of EDF Executive Committee members and Staff with the the Co-Presidents of Disability Intergroup Helga Stevens and Adam Kosa and the Vice-President Marek Plura 2017 is an important year with many challenges ahead but also with the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the European Disability Forum (EDF): 20 years of fighting for human rights, inclusion and participation. We started the year by discussing the priorities of the next period with the leadership of the Disability Intergroup of the European Parliament.

The future of Europe, the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD)and the UN’s human rights recommendations to the European Union (EU), the impact of the economic crisis on persons with disabilities, the EU elections in 2019 and the dialogue between the disability movement and Members of the European Parliaments (MEPs) were among the key issues that were discussed.

EDF Executive Committee Members and MEPs of the Disability Intergroup shared a commitment to fight together for the full implementation of the CRPD and its mainstreaming into all EU policies in order to bring positive changes for persons with disabilities. They agreed that the EU must come forward with a new comprehensive disability rights agenda for 2020-2030, based on the CRPD, and will continue advocating for this in the next period. MEP Helga Stevens, who is the European Parliament’s rapporteur on the CRPD recommendations to the EU, underlined that this was one of the key points of her parliamentary report.

The MEPs also agreed to join EDF in a new call on the European Commission and European Council to immediately ratify the Optional Protocol of the CRPD.

EDF outlined its 20th anniversary campaign. The motto of the campaign is ‘Nothing About Us Without Us’. This means that no decision concerning the lives of persons with disabilities should be decided without their involvement. Participating in decision making includes being able to take part in elections. MEPs Adam Kósa, Helga Stevens, Marek Plura and Michela Giuffrida agreed on concrete initiatives at the European Parliament, including resolutions and events, in order to promote access to political participation.

Finally, all MEPs agreed to give their full support to the realisation of the 4th European Parliament of Persons with disabilities, which EDF plans to hold with the cooperation of the European Parliament, at the end of 2017. This is a unique forum where the disability movement meets EU elected representatives.

Save the date

On 23 January 2017 at 18:00-20:00, the Disability Intergroup of the European Parliament and EDF in cooperation with Social Platform, organise a New Year Reception at the European Parliament in Brussels (MEP restaurant). The event is entitled ‘Leaving no one behind’ and it is hosted by MEP Marek Plura. Sign language interpretation will be provided. The event is open to everybody! If you need an access badge to the European Parliament, please send your full name, ID number, nationality and date of birth to: marek.plura@europarl.europa.eu and etienne.cuche@edf-feph.org by Wednesday 18 January 2017.

More information

The Disability Intergroup is one of the oldest and largest intergroups of the European Parliament. Find out more about its composition, its work and its cooperation with EDF

Follow the news on Twitter using the hashtag #DisabilityIntergroup

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