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European Disability Rights Strategy 2021 – 2030: strategic dialogue

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On the 19th of March EUD participated in the virtual strategic dialogue organised by the DG EMPL at the European Commission. During the strategic dialogue the participants discussed the new European Disability Rights Strategy 2021 – 2030.

Mrs Katarina Ivanković Knežević, Director of Social Affairs at DG EMPL presented the new Strategy, which builds on 8 priority areas: accessibility, enjoying EU rights, decent quality of life and living independently, equal access and non-discrimination, promoting the disability rights globally, efficiently delivering the Strategy and leading by example. Also, it was highlighted that the Commission will focus on raising awareness, governance and measuring progress while delivering the Strategy.

Mrs Katarina Ivanković Knežević, also presented seven flagship initiatives that are included in the Strategy. These are, (1) the launch of the European resource centre AccessibleEU in 2022, (2) the creation of a European Disability Card by the end of 2023, (3) the delivery of the guidance recommending to Member States improvement on independent living and inclusion in the community, by the end of 2023 (4) the introduction of a framework for Social Services of Excellence for persons with disabilities, by 2024, (5) the presentation of a package to improve labour market outcomes of persons with disabilities in 2022, (6) the update on the Toolbox on the “Rights Based Approach, encompassing all human rights for EU development cooperation, (6) the establishment of a Disability Platform and (7) and the adoption of a renewed HR strategy to include actions promoting inclusion of persons with

disabilities in the EU institutions.

During the discussion participants aimed at finding out more about each initiative and highlighted that the cooperation of the organisations of persons with disabilities, the EU Member States and the European Commission will be fundamentally important when delivering the objectives of the Strategy. EUD Executive Director Mr Mark Wheatley draw the attention on the importance of the collection of disaggregated data by disability type to measure the progress for persons with different disabilities. Mr Wheatley suggested for the flagship initiative which will introduce the package to improve labour market outcomes of persons with disabilities package to include an establishment of data collection platform or a network in which there will be cooperation between national statistical offices, national focal points on the UN CRPD, organisations representing persons with disabilities and EUROSTAT. He also highlighted that the EU Member States should use harmonised methods and tools for data collection such as Washington Set of Short Questions.

EUD is currently doing an analysis how the new Strategy met EUD’s advocacy priorities and will publish the findings soon.

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