The EU, as signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities reflects the core elements – of anti-discrimination, equal opportunities and active inclusion measures – in its own disability strategy.
In March 2010, the Commission was represented at a conference in Brussels hosted by the European Coalition for Community Living which addressed the issue of 'Funding exclusion while promoting inclusion? The use of European Union funding to maintain the institutionalisation of people with disabilities'.
The Commission is aware of the concern among NGOs that European Structural Funds are being used to renovate existing, or build new, long-stay residential institutions for people with disabilities, in contravention of the rights of these citizens.
Given the strong convergence of objectives between the overall EU Disability Strategy and the UN Convention, what action will the Commission take to address this problem and ensure that EU funds are not used in this inappropriate way, but are rather directed towards the provision of community based living for persons with disabilities?