New disability strategy: Stepping up EU action for an inclusive Europe 

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Plenary session 
  • Allocate adequate budget to implement and monitor post-2020 Strategy  
  • People with disabilities should not be disproportionately affected by health crises such as COVID-19 
  • Gender-based approach needed to combat discrimination against women and girls with disabilities 

In a resolution outlining their priorities for the post-2020 EU disability strategy, MEPs demand that all persons with disabilities and their families can fully enjoy their human rights.

As a follow-up to the European disability strategy 2010-2020, Parliament calls on the Commission to present a comprehensive, well-funded and ambitious post-2020 EU Disability Strategy that reflects the diversity of persons with disabilities and their needs. They should, together with their representative family members and organisations, be involved in preparing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating the new strategy. In a resolution, adopted by a large majority on Thursday, MEPs also ask for a gender-based approach to address the specific forms of discrimination that women and girls with disabilities face.

Disproportional impact of COVID-19-pandemic on people with disabilities

The COVID-19-outbreak and the measures taken by member states have taken a heavy toll on persons with disabilities who faced serious risks and rights violations, such as disruption in care and support services and lack of precautionary measures in residential institutions. To prevent such shortcomings in legislation in the future, MEPs stress that the post-2020 Disability Strategy should include specific recovery and mitigation measures.

Lucia Ďuriš Nicholsonová (SK, ECR), rapporteur and Chair of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, said: "We must learn lessons from the shortcomings of the current Strategy. Above all, we need robust, disaggregated data to allow for informed policy-making and to eradicate huge disparities. We must also equip the new Strategy with all possible means to guarantee its full implementation and effective monitoring. I hope that the Parliament’s input will serve as important inspiration for the EU-disability agenda for the next decade."

The resolution was adopted with 653 votes in favour, 6 against and 29 abstentions.

Catch up with the debate (17.12.2019)

Next steps:

In its Communication on an Action Plan to implement the European Pillar of Social Rights, the European Commission announced on 14 January 2020 that it will adopt a strengthened disability strategy in 2021.


According to the latest available figures, approximately 100 million persons in Europe have a form of disability. The current European Disability Strategy 2010—2020 is the European Union’s main instrument for implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, to which the EU is a party.

The EP Disability Intergroup, an informal grouping of MEPs, promotes the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities.