About us

Our values | Our statutesStrategic Framework 2017 | Our members | Our board | Financial Information and TransparencyOur Secretariat - Contact us | Work with us | Open Information Policy

An independent Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO)

The European Disability Forum (EDF) is an umbrella organisations of persons with disabilities that defends the interests of over 100 million persons with disabilities in Europe.

Persons with disabilities

We bring together representative organisations of persons with disabilities from across Europe.

Promoting disability rights

We were created in 1996 by our member organisations to ensure that decisions at the European level concerning persons with disabilities are taken with and by persons with disabilities. 

This is a video in sign language explaining what EDF is


Go to Youtube to see the video


Our vision is that persons with disabilities in Europe are fully included in society on an equal basis with others and that our human rights, as outlined in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, are fully respected, protected and fulfilled. 


Our mission is to ensure persons with disabilities’ full inclusion in society and access to our human rights through our active involvement in policy development, implementation and monitoring of the  UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Europe.

Our values

EDF’s values are built on the principles of the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD):

  • Respect for inherent dignity;

  • Individual autonomy including the freedom to make one's own choices;

  • Non-discrimination;

  • Full and effective participation and inclusion in society;

  • Respect for difference and acceptance of persons with disabilities as part of human diversity and humanity;

  • Equality of opportunity;

  • Accessibility;

  • Equality between men and women;

  • Respect for the evolving capacities of children with disabilities and respect for the right of children with disabilities to preserve their identities.


Strategic Framework 2017-2021

Our overarching goal for 2017-2021 is to create a new framework for the rights of persons with disabilities in the EU.

We aim for a comprehensive disability rights strategy 2021-2030, which will be implemented via an inter-institutional agreement at the EU level.

The new comprehensive disability rights strategy 2020 -2030 should be aligned to the implementation of the CRPD, and its time period should coincide with the endpoint of the Global Sustainable Development Agenda. It should be mainstreamed in the EU budget 2021-2027. In order to raise awareness about this strategy, 2021 should be named as the Second European Year for the rights of persons with disabilities.

Read our full strategic framework in the dedicated page

Our members 

We have four membership categories:

Full members

Our full members are National Councils of Persons with Disabilities and European Organisations representing persons with disabilities. 

See the list of full members here

Ordinary members

Our ordinary members  are organisations for persons with disabilities that are consistent with EDF’s aims and objectives.

See the list of ordinary members here 

Observer Members 

Our observer members  are national organisations of persons with disabilities from countries outside the European Union.

See the list of observer members here 

Associate Members

Our associate members are non-profit organisations or companies that are committed to promoting EDF’s aims.
See the list of associate members here  

Our structure

Every 4 years our members elect:

The Board of Directors then elects the Executive Committee.  They also select the members of our Thematic Committees: Human Rights Committee, Women's Committee and Youth Committee

We also have a secretariat, which runs the day to day operations of the organisation. You can find a list of the secretariat staff in the secretariat page