Disability and Europe 2010: The members states set up the frame but still need to draw the picture

09 June 2010 - The European social affairs Ministers met 7-8 June in Luxembourg and adopted a resolution on the new European disability framework. Although the Council is calling for the inclusion of persons with disabilities by mainstreaming disability issues, the European Disability Forum (EDF) urges the Ministers to define concrete indications, targets and commitments to concretely improve the life of 65 millions Europeans with disabilities.

Members States are calling for the active implication of persons with disabilities to define the future disability strategy. EDF President Yannis Vardakastanis welcomes the new framework and urges the EU ministers of social affairs as well as all other EU institutions to include a clear reference to disability in the flagship of the Strategy Europe 2020. “That reference is -the Disability Pact- the roadmap to include persons with disabilities in the growth strategy for the next decade. This is the real framework for disability policy in the coming decade with clear objectives and commitments”.

What is the situation right now in Europe?

The following statistics from Eurostat help understand why disability has to be part of the Strategy Europe 2020:

1/ employment

  • 69% of all Europeans have a job
  • Only 29 % of Europeans with disabilities have a job

Which means we are more than twice less likely to find a job

2/ education

  • 18% of all Europeans go to University
  • 9% of Europeans with disabilities go to University

We have two times less chances of studying

3/ e-accessibility

  • 95% of public websites are not accessible

Do you think it is fair that blind persons or persons with learning disabilities can only benefit from full access to 5 % of governmental and public service websites?

4/ economic crisis

We are extremely concerned and worried that in the developing economic and political crisis in Europe, women and men with disabilities of all ages, and their families, pay for the crisis by the reduction in their income, benefits, and support and employment opportunities or in cuts in support to our representative organisations.

What do persons with disabilities want?

We want the Members States to adopt our proposal -the Disability Pact- to support the implementation of Europe 2020 during the 17 June summer Council:  Disability has to be in the headline target, in the employment guidelines and in the flagships of Europe 2020.

We want the disability strategy from the European Commission to be in line with -the Disability Pact-: concrete and clear commitments at European and national level are necessary to deliver results. We want the endorsement of -the Disability Pact- by the governments and by the college of Commissioners.

Background documents


Source: EDF