On Tuesday, the 12 November, representatives of the European Disability Forum met with Commissioner-Designate for Jobs, Nicolas Schmit.
The EDF delegation stressed the importance to achieve equal rights for persons with disabilities, 15% of the population, and briefed the Commissioner-Designate on the priorities of the disability movement that are relevant to his mission including:
- Adoption of a strong European Disability Rights Agenda 2020-2030, that makes the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities a reality in Europe and the world;
- Ensuring the Youth Guarantee can properly support young persons with disabilities.
- Implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights, especially principle 17: Inclusion of people with disabilities.
- Removal of obstacles to freedom of movement to work (and live): persons with disabilities are still being denied their right to live and work in other EU Member States
- Inclusion of persons with disabilities in the open labour market: EU figures show that on average only 50.8% of persons with disabilities in the EU are in employment, compared to 74.8% for persons without disabilities.
Yannis Vardakastanis, President of the European Disability Forum stated
We need equal access to the open labour market and that includes the freedom to work wherever we want in the EU. We count on Commissioner-Designate Schmit to ensure this equal access.
Commissioner-designate Schmit stated
We had a very good discussion on this crucial issue and I am deeply concerned about the current situation. I am fully committed to work hard in the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights for the social inclusion and particularly the inclusion in the labour market of people with disabilities.