Timeline of Landmarks

A timeline of achievements of the European disability movement.


2018 | All EU countries are part of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with disabilities.


2016 | Adoption of the Directive on the accessibility of the websites and mobile applications of public sector bodies


2014 | Adoption of the pre-conditions on de-institutionalisation, accessibility and nondiscrimination in the regulation on the European Structural and Investment Funds


2013 | Erasmus+ provides students with disabilities with additional financial support to cover disability-related expenses when studying or following a training in another EU country.


2012 | Adoption of Directive establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime


2011 | Entry into force of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at the EU level / Adoption of the EU Regulation concerning the rights of passengers in bus and coach transport with references on the rights of persons with disabilities and persons with reduced mobility


2010 | The European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 is adopted / Adoption of the EU Regulation concerning the rights of passengers when travelling by sea and inland waterway with references to the rights of persons with disabilities and persons with reduced mobility 


2007 | EU signs the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities / Adoption of the EU Regulation on rail passengers’ rights and obligations with references to the rights of persons with disabilities and persons with reduced mobility


2006 | Adoption of the EU Regulation on the rights of persons with disabilities and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air


2003 | The first European Year of Persons with Disabilities is celebrated, and the first European Action Plan on Disability is adopted for 2003-2010


2001 | Adoption of EU Buses and Coaches Directive, making mandatory that all new urban buses ensure accessibility for persons with disabilities


2000 | Adoption of EU Equal Treatment in Employment Directive, protecting persons with disabilities against discrimination in employment and occupation


1997 | European Disability Forum is founded. The EU treaties include a reference to the rights of persons with disabilities


1993-1996 | The landmark European disability action programme Helios II adopted by the European Commission with a formal established way to consult persons with disabilities. This mechanism was composed of 12 national disability councils of the member states at the time selected by the Commission. As the body was limited in its work and functioning, organisations of persons with disabilities in Europe realised the importance of building an independent organisation.


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