EDF responds to the review of the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020

1 April 2016

On 23 December 2015, the European Commission launched a public consultation on the review of the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020. The Strategy aims to remove barriers to inclusion of persons with disabilities and identifies 8 main areas for action at EU level: Accessibility, Participation, Equality, Employment, Education and Training, Social Protection, Health and External Action. EDF submitted its position on the review of the Strategy.

EDF welcomed the European Commission’s initiative to take stock of the impact of the Strategy. We strongly believe that this exercise should be part of the follow up to the recent UN’s recommendations to the EU, the so called “Concluding Observations”: In September 2015, the EU received important recommendations from the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. These recommendations gave the EU a strong obligation to act in specific areas of its competence. The recommendations provide a clear set of priorities, a road map for EU actions in the next years in order to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) and promote and respect the rights of persons with disabilities in the EU.

The European Commission considers that at EU level, the UN CRPD is implemented through the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020. This makes the review of the Strategy and its real impact on EU actions even more important.

In our position we emphasise that:

  • a comprehensive revision of the Strategy is needed to serve the implementation of the UN CRPD. It should include a monitoring structure and should rely on a specific budget allocation;
  • the Strategy should include proposals for disability focal points to be established in all Directorates of the Commission and relevant EU institutions and agencies. A coordination mechanism between the institutions is also needed;
  • the EU should take the necessary measures to set up a structured dialogue with persons with disabilities, including women, and girls and boys with disabilities, through their representative organisations;
  • the Strategy does not take into consideration the negative consequences of the economic crisis on the rights of persons with disabilities. We also call for a greater coordination of the Strategy with the European Economic Strategy (Europe 2020) and the European Economic Governance (European Semester);
  • the Strategy should be part of the social pillar proposed by the European Commission to address social exclusion, poverty, unemployment and access to education.

Find EDF’s position on the review of the European Disability Strategy here

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