Last Monday the 23rd of May, the European Commission released its Country-Specific Recommendations (CSRs) as part of the European Semester Process, within the Spring Package. The EU Semester is an annual cycle where the European Commission analyses poor performance on certain policy issues (primarily economic and social) in the Member States. The Commission then delivers recommendations to the Member States explaining how they can align their policies with the objectives and rules agreed at the EU level, which they are expected to act upon.
Each year, EDF works to get the Commission to recommend that the Member States take more action on the rights of persons with disabilities, and progress has been made since the launch of the European Pillar of Social Rights.
This time, recommendations have focused a lot on matters related with the energetic crisis, Green and Digital transitions, the war in Ukraine and recovery from COVID 19, while the Commission has relied mainly on the National Recovery and Resilience Plans to cover the main problems found in each country. However, the disability aspect is still present, at times together with other vulnerable groups, or directly as group a need of response given the great impact of the crises. The European Disability Forum has analysed what was said about disability, or matters relevant for them in the recommendations for each Member State.
As a summary, every Member State now has specific analysis and measures raised for disability, but specific recommendations are scarce. In total, only 6 CSRs made a specific reference to persons with disabilities, compared to the 20 cases in 2020. These are Belgium, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, the Netherlands and Poland.
The disability issues covered, both through the Country Analysis and the CSRs, were mainly about:
- Employment of persons with disabilities
- Poverty and social inclusion of persons with disabilities
- Social services, de-institutionalisation and community-care
- Social protection for persons with disabilities
- Education, training and labour-related skills
Read the document with our response to the country’s recommendations.
Álvaro Couceiro – Social Policy Officer