EU Ombudsman commits to work on the implementation of the rights of persons with disabilities

12 November 2014

On 11 November 2014, EDF President Yannis Vardakastanis and EDF Acting Director Javier Güemes met the European Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, to discuss future cooperation on the implementation of the rights of persons with disabilities in all EU policies.

The discussion focused in particular on the EU Ombudsman’s work on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD), as well as the role of EU Framework on the monitoring of the implementation of the UN CRPD. The EU framework was set up in 2012 and EDF, the European Ombudsman, the European Agency of Fundamental Rights, the European Parliament and the European Commission take part equally.

EDF President expressed the concern of the disability movement that there is a need for a strong new beginning in the implementation of the UN CRPD by the EU, including its implementing structures such as the EU framework. “We need the EU to commit and deliver concrete results. After a period of transition with the new European Parliament and the new Commission, there is a need for a strong new start” said Yannis Vardakastanis, while also underlining that there are still many steps to be taken by the EU in order to implement the UN CRPD: “We see problems in the way the EU is integrating the UN CRPD in the legislative and policy making process. The EU has not undertaken a comprehensive review of existing legislation and policy when adopting the Convention”.

From her side, the EU Ombudsman recognised the need to continue monitoring the actions of the European institutions on the implementation of the UN Convention also by having an active EU framework that delivers concrete results. Moreover, Emily O’Reilly committed to work in order for the UN Convention to be implemented in all EU policies, in co-operation with the disability movement.

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