European Disability Strategy
The European Disability Strategy 2010 - 2020 has been the main instrument for the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) at the EU level for the past decade. It aimed to promote a barrier-free Europe and empower people with disabilities so that they can enjoy their rights and participate fully in society and economy. The European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 focused on actions in eight priority areas: accessibility, participation, equality, employment, education and training, social protection, health and external action.
EUD celebrates the achievements of the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 such as the adoption of the European Accessibility Act, the Web Accessibility Directive, more inclusive Erasmus + programme, EU Disability Card project and many others. However, EUD is aware that much more needs to be done in the coming years for the EU to live up to its commitments under the UN CRPD.
Understanding the importance of this instrument, EUD strongly advocated the European Commission to develop the next ambitious strategy for the upcoming ten years. EUD undertaken a number of important tasks in this regard:
- In the beginning of the year EUD collaborated with the office of MEP Ádám Kósa when working on the Resolution on the post 2020 EU Disability Strategy adopted by the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs of the European Parliament.
- In March EUD presented is evaluation of the 2010 - 2020 EU Disability Strategy to the European Commission, which also contained the recommendations for the next EU Disability Strategy.
- In June EUD provided the European Disability Forum with input to ensure their position and advocacy reflects EUD’s priorities as well.
- In July 2020, EUD participated in two online technical meetings with the European Commission and the EU Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli on the European Disability Strategy 2020-2030. These virtual technical meetings were an opportunity for Mark Wheatley, EUD’s Executive Director, to communicate EUD’s priorities for the future Strategy directly to the Commissioner.
- In October EUD provided with an in-depth input for the European Commission’s Roadmap on the post 2020 European Disability strategy. EUD listed concrete recommendations for action in these areas: accessibility, mobility, participation, employment, skills, education, equality, access to health and justice, other UN CRPD rights and governance.
- Moreover, EUD attend and actively participated in four thematic consultations organised by the European Commission to highlight its priorities to the European Commission.
- Throughout the year EUD participated in a number of workshops, meetings and events dedicated to the new Strategy and always ensured EUD’s positions are visible.
EUD engaged with all relevant actors to promote our priorities in the UN CRPD implementation at the EU level and ensured that the rights of deaf individuals are fully taken into account by the European Commission in the drafting process of the post-2020 European Disability Strategy. As part of this, EUD created a dedicated part of its website with all of the actions taken to input the post-2020 European Disability Strategy. The European Disability Strategy for the upcoming years will be published this week and we are looking forward to finding out what the European Commission has planned to ensure that in our Union of Equality no one is left behind.