Reply to the public consultation on the review of the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020
In 2010, the European Commission released its European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 (the Strategy). The aim of the Strategy is to empower people with disabilities so they can enjoy their full rights and benefit fully from participating in society and in the European economy such as through the single market. Unfortunately, for deaf people in the EU there are still many obstacles to reach this objective and deaf people are facing barriers and discrimination on a daily basis. EUD is therefore pleased to see that the European Commission is following up on its promise to review the Strategy made during the EU review of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in August 2015. Seen as that at since the release of the Strategy, the EU has ratified the CRPD and had its first review resulting in the first recommendations in the form of Concluding Observations, we encourage the Commission to review the Strategy taking into account the recommendations made by the CRPD Committee in September 2015.
EUD survey to its members
EUD have made a survey amongst its members and asked for real examples to see if and how the Strategy has improved their daily lives in their country. 21 countries, constituting 68 per cent of EUD’s members and representing 64 per cent of EU Member States, replied the survey.
Barriers that currently exist as well as have been removed are not necessarily because of or thanks to the Strategy. Existing barriers could be linked to the lack of ratification or even implementation of the CRPD from national governments as well as that many achievements could be a result of the national government’s work in implementing the CRPD. However, with an EU-wide policy document such as the Strategy, it is important to evaluate how this Strategy influences and mainstreams other EU decisions and encourages its Member States to follow it in their national polices, which is why it is of high relevance to provide real examples from people who unfortunately are faced with barriers and discrimination on a daily basis.
 The countries that have replied to the survey are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Three of these countries are not EU Member States, but their replies have been included in this document to also demonstrate various good and/or bad examples of how to address the aims listed in the Strategy. Also, Belgium is counted as one country in this document even if two deaf associations, both of which have replied to the EUD survey, represent it. In the very few cases where the two replies from Belgium differ, this is split into half in the statistics i.e. 0,5 of a country.