European Day of Disabled People 2004

Brussels, December 2-3, 2004 - Creating the conditions to promote the Employment of People with Disabilities

The theme of the European Commission Conference has been chosen in line with the recent European Commission Communication on the follow-up of the European Year of People with Disabilities 2003 and its corresponding Action Plan on Disability.

Main conference topics were:

  • Accessibility to the built environment as a precondition for participation in the workplace as well as in the economy and society
  • Access to modern technologies: enhancing employability through empowerment
  • Life long learning in support of employability and adaptability.
  • More than 200 experts in the field of employment, including key representatives from the European disability movement, social partners and EU stakeholders were attending the conference. FIMITIC was represented at this conference by its President Marija-Lidija Stiglic.

Vladimir Spidla, the EU´ s Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, during the opening speech called for a change of mind-set and a right-based approach to roll back the discrimination which prevents people with disabilities from finding and keeping jobs. This approach will be developed next year as an integral part of the EU´ s equal opportunities policy. He said: "We must incorporate an inclusive vision of disability into all our policies. I am ready to cooperate and to find solutions to fight discrimination. Society must understand that diversity is richness, and people with disabilities are a reservoir of talent that needs to be recognised".

Â…The Commissioner´s commitment to ensure the mainstreaming of non-discrimination measures on the ground of disability and the development of new legal instruments was welcomed by the participants.

The result of the discussions will be published in a final report.