EU & International


CRPD Ratifications reach 85

21/04/2010 - The ratifications of the CRPD by United Arab Emirates and Maldives have increased to 85 the number of States Parties to the CRPD, while the Optional Protocol has 52 ratifications. The number of signatures to the CRPD is 144, while the Optional Protocol has 88 signatures.

Face to face with VAN ROMPUY: The disability pact gets the EU president's attention

16 April 2010 - The European Disability Forum EDF, the voice of 65 million European citizens with disabilities, met the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy to ensure that the strategy Europe 2020 will include the Disability Pact in its flagship priorities.

On 16 April 2010 Herman Van Rompuy received the leaders of the European disability movement Yannis Vardakastanis, EDF President, and Pierre Gyselinck, President of the Belgian Disability Forum. The new permanent President of the European Council stressed “I understand the necessity of a new approach to disability policies in the EU.”

Europe 2020 will address social issues

A new economic strategy which aims to help the European Union exit the recent recession and guide the economy over the next decade also promises to have a significant impact on social issues, such as poverty and inclusion.

The main building blocks of the Europe 2020 Strategy were agreed by the European Council on March 25 and 26. The decision to back the Commission’s proposal on the new strategy comes in the wake of the worst financial crisis the EU has faced in a generation.

Building on the work of the Lisbon strategy for growth and jobs, Europe 2020 promises closer economic policy coordination to help Member States put their economies back on track and address global challenges in a coherent and effective way.

Wasted Time, Wasted Money, Wasted Lives ... A Wasted Opportunity?

On 24 March 2010 - the European Coalition for Community Living (ECCL) published a new report highlighting that European Union funding is being used in some EU Member States of Central and Eastern Europe to renovate, or build new, residential institutions for people with disabilities. This means that disabled people continue to be segregated from society and puts them at risk of serious human rights abuses.

A battle that we can win: DISABILITY PACT TO SAVE EUROPE 2020

21 March 2010 - The European Disability Forum (EDF), the voice of 65 million European citizens with disabilities, met in Thessaloniki, Greece and adopted the Disability Pact declaration. This is to ensure that the strategy EUROPE 2020, to be embraced by the European Council next week, will include the Disability Pact as one of its flagship priorities. Yannis Vardakastanis, President of EDF, stressed that: “The Disability Pact is the best policy instrument to ensure real mainstreaming of disability in the European Union by promoting the rights of persons with disabilities and by developing a strong agenda engaging both the EU Institutions and Member States”.

UN: Update on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

144 signatories to the Convention
  88 signatories to the Optional Protocol
  80 ratifications of the Convention
  51 ratifications of the Optional Protocol

NB: The CRPD now has 80 ratifications and therefore, the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will increase its membership from 12 to 18 in 2011 (CRPD Article 34). At this year's Conference of States Parties to the Convention to be held from 1-3 September, elections for 6 members of the Committee will take place, alongside with elections for the expanded Committee of 18 members. In total, 12 new members will be elected to the Committee. See also Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, below.

EU Accession to the UN Convention: A great advanced stopped in its tracks

EDF participates in the public hearing organised in Brussels by the European Parliament on 22 February to discuss the EU accession to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. European Voice publishes today an article signed by EDF President Yannis Vardakastanis and Chairperson of the European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights Heidi Hautala to expressing a concern that millions of Europeans may have to wait years before they benefit from the EU's ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of persons with disabilities.

New treaty provides boost to Europe’s rights and values

The Treaty of Lisbon came into force across the European Union on 1 December 2009. As well as helping to make an enlarged EU work more efficiently, the Treaty promises to make it easier to address major issues of the day and provide a boost to Europe’s social policy commitments.

In general terms, the Treaty paves the way for a more democratic and transparent EU. For example, the European Parliament has been given new decision-making powers, which means it has more of an influence on framing EU legislation and budgets than ever before.

Nothing about us without us: The European Parliament drives forward disability rights

29 January 2010 /// On 27 January 2009, the renewed Disability Intergroup of the European Parliament and the European Disability Forum toasted the New Year in Brussels at a very well-attended event. The new President of the Intergroup - for the first time a person with a disability himself, - and the disability movement presented the Disability Pact to a hundred of activists and 20 MEPs from various political groups and nationalities.

“The historic day for persons with disabilities”

Persons with disabilities highlighted as Human Rights Council adopts resolution on Haiti disaster

 Yesterday and today (January 27 and 28, 2010), the Human Rights Council held its 13th special session under the title “The support of the HRC for the recovery process in Haiti after the earthquake of January 12, 2010: a human rights approach,” which has adopted a resolution that includes the following reference to persons with disabilities:

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