On the 15th of December 2021 EUD attend the first meeting of the newly established Disability Platform of the European Commission. The Disability Platform is one of the flagship initiatives of the Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Following its adoption by the European Commission on 27 October, all EU Member states have put forward their representatives. Fourteen civil society organisations active in the field of disability, including EUD, have been selected through an open call for applications. The Disability Platform replaces the High Level Group on Disability. It is an expert group to support the implementation of the Strategy for the rights of Persons with Disabilities in the EU and its Member States.
During the first meeting European Commission presented the state of play of the implementation of the Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2021-2030. It was highlighted that among other actions, a new “Buying Social” guide on socially responsible public procurement has been published. In the area of decent quality of life and living independently, the implementation report on the EU Employment Equality Directive has been published, and the Action Plan on Social Economy has been adopted in December 2021. In the area of equal participation and non-discrimination, a study on procedural safeguards for vulnerable adults in criminal proceedings has been launched. Furthermore, the toolkit for inclusion in early childhood education and care has been published. As concerns the area of efficiently delivering the Strategy, the disability coordinators in the Commission are being nominated, and the Commission Expert Group ‘Disability Platform’ was created. These are just a few actions, however, much more has been already done to implement the Strategy.
Moreover, during the meeting the European Commission presented the draft Work Programme of the Disability Platform. Ms Inmaculada Placencia Porreropresented that the proposed objectives of the programme are to (i) support the implementation of the new Strategy, as well as national disability strategies, plans or policies; (ii) facilitate cooperation between the Commission and the Member States for matters relating to the implementation of the Convention; (iii) assist the Commission in the preparation of policy initiatives or legislative proposals in the field of disability; (iv) establish cooperation and coordination between the Commission and the Member States and stakeholders on questions relating to the implementation of Union legislation, programmes and policies in the field of disability; and (v) bring about an exchange of experience and good practice in the field of disability.
Furthermore, during the meeting representatives from France and Slovenia presented the programmes of Slovenian and French Presidencies. Also, regarding the EU dialogue with the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, it was reported that the Commission received the letter from the UN Committee. It expects the list of questions after the meeting of the UN Committee in March 2022.
The Commission informed that the next meeting of the Platform would take place on 18 February. EUD is looking forward to cooperating with the members of the Platform.