2010. 03. 25.
The meeting hosted by the President of the Disability Intergroup on 23 March inspired an intense round of speeches and debate on how to better integrate disability in the strategy Europe 2020. The Disability Pact proposed by the European Disability Forum was put forward as one of the most suitable means to meet the objective of inclusive growth and targets for employment, education, poverty eradication, digital agenda and research by 2020.
MEP Adám Kósa, HU/EPP President of the Disability Intergroup and first deaf MEP in the history of the European Parliament, opened the meeting reminding Commissioner Andor how crucial the Disability Pact is to coordinate European disability policy: he urged the Commissioner Andor to adopt the Pact as a flagship initiative and called on all disability and social movements to maintain a strong pressure on the EU leaders to adopt the Pact. MEPs Richard Howitt (UK/S&D) and Kinga Concz (HU/S&D) expressed their strong support to the Disability Pact and asked Member States representative’s to include Disability in Europe 2020. Pervenche Berès (FR/S&D) commented the weakness of social aspect in Europe 2020.
Commissioner László Andor stressed that the inclusive growth priority underlines the necessity to include people with disabilities in all flagship initiatives and opens the way to introduce specific measures. He also recognized the Disability Pact could become the instrument to implement the disability strategy from the European Commission that is in the making at the moment.
Gábor IVÁN, Hungary’s Ambassador to the EU, and Delmira Seara, Counselor for Social Affairs at the Permanent Representation of Spain both guaranteed to mainstream disability in all relevant flagship initiatives of Europe 2020. Delmira Seara announced EPSCO will issue a resolution on disability by June 2010.
Now that the Lisbon Strategy is being revamped, it is, therefore, the high time to ensure that the 65 million EU citizens with disabilities can be part of the efforts to improve the economic and social situation in Europe. Donata Vivanti, EDF Vice President, underlined “This is why EDF is calling on heads of states and governments to include the Disability Pact as a component of the Europe 2020 Strategy which they are going to discuss at the summit of the spring European Council on 25 and 26 March.”
What is the Disability Pact?
The European Disability Pact is meant to create a framework for European policies aimed at promoting the rights of persons with disabilities, and to give impetus to the coordination of disability policies among EU Member States and the EU institutions. The Disability Pact builds on existing policy instruments on international, European and national levels, and reflects that persons with disabilities expect systematic improvements of their living conditions and respect for their equal rights in policy making on all levels.
Why the Disability Pact in the EU strategy 2020?
The Pact will give a clear long term direction to disability policy at European level. Moreover, the European Disability Pact can help governments to translate the EU 2020 goals on inclusive growth into effective national targets and plans. The European Disability Pact is the vehicle which can facilitate that Europe 2020 delivers on targets regarding inclusiveness of education systems, employment of persons with disabilities, adequate social protection of disadvantaged groups, as well as accessible markets, infrastructure and services.
The Disability Pact Declaration
On 21 March, leaders of the disability movement adopted the Disability Pact Declaration during their board meeting to call on heads of states and governments of the European Union to recognise the importance of equalising opportunities for persons with disabilities.
/Download the Disability Pact Declaration in Documents/