Post-2020 EU disability strategy should leave no one behind, say MEPs 

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  • Current EU disability strategy, aimed at equal rights and full participation in society, expires in 2020 
  • MEPs give their input ahead of the preparation of the future EU disability framework 
  • New strategy should mainstream rights of persons with disabilities in all relevant EU policies 

Next EU disability strategy should close the gap between the EU’s disability policy and the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

In a debate on the EU disability strategy for 2020-2030, Members of the European Parliament stressed that the future disability framework should be more ambitious and protect the human rights of all 100 million persons with disabilities in the EU.

MEPs urged the European Commission to ensure that the future policy on disability will be fully inclusive and effective in all areas of life, including with regards to access to education, health care and employment.

The voices of people with disabilities should be heard by involving organisations who represent them in the preparation of the next strategy, said MEPs. They also called for proper funding to ensure that all rights in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) are covered. The EU should be a role model in treating all its citizens equally.

Commissioner for Equality Dalli told MEPs that the European Commission is fully committed to mainstream disability in all EU policy areas and that proposing a new disability strategy for 2020-2030 is certainly an “option”. However, the Commission first wants to evaluate the current strategy and decide on a precise follow-up by mid-2020. Dalli stressed that the process for the post-2020 disability framework will be all-inclusive. “I will do nothing about you without you,” she said.

Stelios KYMPOUROPOULOS (Greece, EPP) Member of the Employment and Social Affairs committee who initiated today’s debate, said:

“No power in the world can stop our demands for respect. We are not talking about money, we are talking about human lives that have been destroyed and people who are unable to fully live their lives. The human rights of all citizens must be respected. Dignity is vitally important and means that all citizens are regarded as equal. Everyone has the right to live a life without exploitation or fear. We need to help people with disabilities to overcome the obstacles that are in their way to proper access to healthcare services, employment, education, etc. Can the European Commission guarantee investments in accessibility?“

Next steps:

Upon the request of Katrin Langensiepen (Greens/EFA, Germany), the European Parliament will put a resolution on the post-2020 disability strategy to the vote beginning of next year.

Background:

The EU adopted the 2010-2020 European Disability Strategy (EDS) in 2010. It provides the main instrument for implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), to which the EU is a party. In 2015, the UN CPRD Committee published its Concluding Observations to the EU, requiring the EU institutions to meet their obligations to implement the UN CRPD on the ground. The European Parliament concluded in its 2017 resolution on the implementation of the European Disability Strategy that, although the situation for persons with disabilities keeps getting better in the EU, many things still need to be improved.

Procedure: Commission Statement