A new ambitious EU Disability Strategy for 2021-2030

(Source: EU Parliament)

Following Parliament’s recommendations, the European Commission adopted an ambitious post-2020 disability strategy. Discover its priorities.

The European Parliament called for an inclusive society in which the rights of people living with disabilities are protected and where there is no discrimination.

In June 2020, Parliament set out its priorities for a new post-2020 EU Disability Strategy, building upon the European Disability Strategy for 2010-2020.

In March 2021, the Commission adopted the Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2021-2030 encompassing Parliament’s main recommendations:

  • The mainstreaming of the rights of all people living with disabilities into all policies and areas
  • Recovery and mitigation measures to avoid people with disabilities getting disproportionally affected by health crises such as Covid-19
  • Equal access for people with disabilities to health care, employment, public transport, housing
  • The implementation and further development of the EU disability card pilot project, which allows for the mutual recognition of disabilities in some EU countries
  • People with disabilities, their families and organisations were part of the dialogue and will be part of the process of implementation

People living with disabilities in Europe: facts and figures 

  • There are an estimated 87 million people with disabilities in the EU
  • The employment rate of people with disabilities (aged 20-64) stands at 50.8%, compared to 75% for people without disabilities
  • 28.4% of people with disabilities in the EU are at risk of poverty or social exclusion, compared to 17.8% of the general population. 

EU disability measures so far

The European Disability Strategy was put in place to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

  • An international legally binding human rights treaty setting minimum standards to protect the rights of people with disabilities
  • The EU and all member states have ratified it
  • Both EU and member states are obliged to implement the obligations, according to their competences

Among the concrete initiatives launched thanks to the European Disability Strategy is the European Accessibility Act, which ensures that more products and services like smartphones, tablets, ATMs or e-books are accessible to people with disabilities.

The directive on web accessibility means people with disabilities have easier access to online data and services online because websites and apps operated by public sector institutions, such as hospitals, courts or universities, are required to be accessible.

The Erasmus+ student exchange programme promotes the mobility of participants with disabilities.

EU rules also ensure improved access to transport and better passenger rights for people living with disabilities.

Find out more on EU policies for a more social Europe

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