Disability Intergroup Workplan 2020-2021
The Disability Intergroup approved the workplan 2020-2021 during a meeting on the 13 February 2020.
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Accessibility & free movement
- Accessibility and assistive technologies: The Intergroup is instrumental to keep advancing on legislation incorporating accessibility as a pre-requisite. Domains in which the Intergroup could work are: accessibility to the built environment and housing, accessibility of transport services, accessible ICT (web, telecommunications, media) – digital technologies, accessible health care services, accessibility in culture, Assistive technologies
- Artificial Intelligence and other emerging technologies: Defend an inclusive approach to Artificial Intelligence (AI) respecting accessibility, mobility and non-discrimination of persons with disabilities. The Intergroup will liaise with the special EP Committee on AI and promotes specific investment plans for the research and application of inclusive algorithms taking into account human diversity.
- EU Disability Card: Keep encouraging the Commission invest the resources to extend the pilot project of the Disability Card to all Member States paving the way for a mutual recognition of disability rights across the EU (2020-2021)
- Passengers’ Rights: Currently, the Rail Passengers’ Rights Regulation is in trilogues (2020). The Intergroup advocates for a strong EP position in the negotiations. Furthermore, the Intergroup pushes the Commission to revise the Air Passengers’ Rights Regulation (2021)
Mainstreaming Disability Rights
- Cohesion Policy and Structural Funds: Everything in its power to ensure that the main Regulations concerning cohesion policy (Common Provisions Regulation, Social Fund + and Regional Development Fund) abide by the CRPD, particularly with regards to non-discrimination, accessibility, forbidding investment in institutional care settings and ensuring the involvement of persons with disabilities and their representative organisations in the governance and monitoring processes (2020-2021).
- Children with disabilities and inclusive education: Defend the full inclusion of children with disabilities and the right to access inclusive and accessible education that takes into account their characteristics and needs, including in language immersion education systems. The inclusion of children with disabilities and their families within the Child Guarantee (2020-2021).
- EU Green Deal: The Intergoup is instrumental in ensuring that the rights of Persons with disabilities are included in the Green New Deal, including for example a core element of the “renovation wave” for buildings when the programmes are taking more concrete shape (2020-2021).
- EU in the world: Ensure that the budget focusing on external actions is inclusive pf persons with disabilities transversally and in line with the SDGs. The Disability Intergroup highlights the best examples in which EU external action has a critical role in promoting human rights, inclusion and accessibility for persons with disabilities globally (2020-2021). The Disability Intergroup monitors the implementation of the DG ECHO Operational Guidance on the inclusion of persons with disabilities in EU-funded humanitarian aid operations.
- Gender Equality and women with disabilities: Promote a Gender Equality Strategy fully inclusive of women and girls with disabilities, particularly addressing the specific challenges and violations they face (2020-2021).
- The next EU budget: Keep track of the negotiations concerning the regulations setting up the next EU budget to ensure that it fits for a social purpose, guaranteeing principles of non-discrimination, accessibility and meaningful involvement of representative organisations of persons with disabilities in the use and monitoring of EU funds (2020). The intergroup can adopt a general manifesto about it, and bring the voice of persons with disabilities to regulations such as Horizon Europe, Digital Europe, Creative Europe, Eramus+, Solidarity Corps or InvestEU, NDICI, among others.
Raising awareness and collaboration
- Collaboration with other equality intergroups and the Disability Support Group of the European Parliament: Regularly collaborates with other human rights based intergroups of the Parliament, as well as with the Disability Support Group formed by EP staff with disabilities (2021-2022). For example, on poverty, social exclusion and homelessness, the Intergroup can contact the “Fighting against poverty”-intergroup to join forces, or for accessibility, assistive technologies and other emerging technologies, the Intergroup can liaise with the “Artificial Intelligence and Digital” intergroup.
- Collaboration with the Commission: Maintain regular exchanges with Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli, and with the Commission’s Disability and Inclusion unit.
- Meaningful involvement of persons with disabilities through their organisations: Maximise the opportunities for organisations of persons with disabilities to address the Parliament and the Disability Intergroup to explain their priorities (2020-2021).
- Visibility and raising awareness of specific disabilities: Work to raise awareness among other EU policy makers and the general public of the specific needs of the diverse community of persons with disabilities, e.g. deafblindness, intellectual and learning disabilities, mental health issues, etc.
- 5th European Parliament of Persons with Disabilities: The Intergroup members are central in the organisation of the 5th European Parliament of Persons with Disabilities to be organised in 2020 or beginning of 2021 to support the participation of persons with disabilities across the EU, get the political support of their groups as well as the President and administration of the Parliament. Given the preparation of the next Disability Strategy and the high number of new MEPs, having the EPPD as soon as possible is a political opportunity.
UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
- CRPD independent monitoring framework: Support the members of the monitoring framework (from the Committees of Petitions, Civil Liberties and Employment) (2020-2021).
- EP CRPD network: Support the members of the CRPD network and vice versa (2020-2021). The Intergroup can work intensively through this network to argue the creation of a standing Disability Committee.
- European Disability Strategy (Disability Rights Agenda 2020-2030): Lead the way in ensuring that the post-2020 disability strategy is more ambitious that its predecessor, with a foreseen budget for implementation and monitoring, targets to measure its success and the necessary structure to succeed (including a central focal point for the CRPD, focal points in all relevant institutions and agencies and an interinstitutional coordination mechanism), including meaningful involvement of organisations of persons with disabilities and a well-funded Disability Rights Guarantee (2020-2021).
- Horizontal Antidiscrimination Directive: Keep urging the Council to agree on an Equal Treatment Directive that protects persons with disabilities from discriminations beyond employment (2020-2021).
- Implementation of the CRPD within the Parliament as a public administration: The Intergroup, in collaboration with the disability support groups and the Parliament administration takes steps to make the Parliament inclusive and accessible for employees, guests and elected officials.
- Petitions regarding persons with disabilities rights: The Intergroup is aware of the Petitions sent to the PETI Committee concerning persons with disabilities and follows up when necessary, and pays particular attention to incorrect implementation of the UN CRPD (2020-2021).
- Political participation and right to vote: Take the lead in promoting Parliament resolution that amends the EU Electoral law from 1976 with the aim of ensuring that in the next European elections in 2024 all persons with disabilities, including those with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities, will be able to exercise their right to vote (2021).
- UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Help the review of the EU by the CRPD committee by hosting expert meetings and reports that shed light on the implementation of the Convention (2021 TBC). The Intergroup can propose to the European Commission to nominate a qualified EU candidate with disabilities for the elections of the CRPD Committee (2020 and subsequent elections).
- Deinstitutionalisation and independent living: Support efforts against institutionalisation of persons with disabilities and showcases best practices regarding independent community-based living and non-coercive measures in mental health (2020-2021).
- Employment: Work to ensure persons with disabilities can access the open labour market with decent work conditions, including a fair minimum wage. The intergroup advocates for EU initiatives in job creation for persons with disabilities. This work can also include actions involving the private sector. (2020-2021).
- EU Pilar of Social Rights: Work to ensure accessibility and inclusion within the upcoming action plan on the Pillar, and its implementation (in line with objective 17 “inclusion of persons with disabilities” to live in dignity) (2020-2021). The Intergroup also promotes steps to provide support and advance the inclusion of migrants with disabilities.
- Poverty, Social Exclusion and homelessness: Promote action to fight the disproportionate level of poverty and homelessness faced by persons with disabilities in the EU. In light of this worrying trend, the Intergroup will work to support more protective and social policies taking into consideration the extra cost of living that comes from having a disability in a society with multiple barriers (2020-2021).