On March 23rd, EUD joined the public hearing of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs at the European Parliament. On this occasion, European Commissioner for Equality, Ms Helena Dalli, provided an update on the implementation of the European Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2021-2030 (the Strategy).
This included an overview of the work carried out in 2022 with a focus on the flagship initiatives of the Strategy. Specifically, Ms Dalli highlighted the achievement of establishing the European Accessibility Centre – AccessibleEU – which will be operational in the near future, the implementation of the EU Disability Employment package, and the EU’s full implementation of the CRPD Committee obligations.
Commissioner Dalli then illustrated the flagship initiatives that will be completed in 2023, namely, the EU Disability Card and the Guidelines on Independent Living and Inclusion in the Community. Within Ms Dalli’s overview of the progress made in 2023 so far, the gender pay gap was highlighted as an ongoing issue which will be tackled through the Pay Transparency Directive. During the hearing, it was stressed that full participation and empowerment of women in society can be achieved by stopping violence against women, including women with disabilities who are disproportionately affected by this. In this regard, Commissioner Dalli highlighted the European Commission initiative to propose a Directive on combatting violence against women which will include preventive actions and specific support for women with disabilities.
Furthermore, Commissioner Dalli highlighted the importance of promoting the principle that every person has the right to work and to be financially independent. In order to achieve this, reasonable accommodation, mutual training and alternative employment models are needed – all of which are part of the Disability Employment Package.
EUD will continue to follow the progress and development of the EU Disability Rights Strategy with a specific focus this year on the EU Disability Card, the AccessibleEU Centre, as well as the Disability Employment Package.