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Commission Announces New European Disability Strategy 2010 - 2020

15/11/2010 | 0 comments

EU Flag15 November 2010, Brussels.

EU Commissioner Viviane Reding announced the adoption of a 10 year strategy which promotes equal opportunities for people with disabilities at the 4th Equality Summit organised by the Belgian Presidency of the European Union today.

The strategy will provide a framework for action at European level. It aims to support EU countries’ policies and actions and pursues the overall goal of implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Strategic Objectives

The EC Communication declares:

"The overall aim of this Strategy is to empower people with disabilities so that they can enjoy their full rights, and benefit fully from participating in society and in the European economy, notably through the Single market. Achieving this and ensuring effective implementation of the UN Convention across the EU calls for consistency. This Strategy identifies actions at EU level to supplement national ones, and it determines the mechanisms needed to implement the UN Convention at EU level, including inside the EU institutions. It also identifies the support needed for funding, research, awareness-raising, statistics and data collection.

"This Strategy focuses on eliminating barriers. The Commission has identified eight main areas for action: Accessibility, Participation, Equality, Employment, Education and training, Social protection, Health, and External Action. For each area, key actions are identified, with the overarching EU-level objective highlighted in a box. These areas were selected on the basis of their potential to contribute to the overall objectives of the Strategy and of the UN Convention, the related policy documents from EU institutions and the Council of Europe, as well as the results of the EU Disability Action Plan 2003-2010, and a consultation of the Member States, stakeholders and the general public. The references to national actions are intended to supplement action at EU level, rather than to cover all national obligations under the UN Convention. The Commission will also tackle the situation of people with disabilities through the Europe 2020 strategy, its flagship initiatives and the relaunch of the single market."

While the Communication does not explicitly announce actions for the improved participation of persons with disabilities in tourism and travel, the aims of the strategy in the areas of access to the physical environment, transportation, information and communications technologies and systems (ICT), and other facilities and services should contribute to better outcomes for disabled people in these sectors.

Among its various objectives, the EU strategy aims to "...improve the accessibility of sports, leisure, cultural and recreational organisations, activities, events, venues, goods and services including audiovisual ones; [and] promote participation in sports events and the organisation of disability-specific ones...".

Further information

Read the European Commission press release.

The European Disability Strategy is available to download from website of the Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities.

Download from the right-hand panel, in PDF format, the English versions of the Background document the Communication, and the List of Actions 2010 to 2015.

EU Disability Unit bannerThe European Commission Unit for EU Integration of People with Disabilities, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities has Observer Status with the ENAT non-profit association.

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General Information

Submitted by: Ivor Ambrose
Author(s): European Commission
Language(s): DE | EN | FR


Publisher: European Commission
Date published on the web: 15/11/2010


Disability, disabilities, technical aids | Policy, legislation