How can the European Parliament implement the UN’s Human Rights Recommendations to the EU?

17 February 2016
Participants attending the meeting at the European Parliament

Today EDF participated in the meeting of the European Parliament’s Employment Committee focusing on the implementation of the UN’s recommendationsto the EU on the promotion of the rights of 80 million people with disabilities and the role of the European Parliament in this context.

The European Ombudsman and the European Agency of Fundamental Rights (FRA) - as members of the EU Monitoring Framework together with EDF and the European Parliament- took active part in the meeting as speakers, as well as Diane Kingston, member of the UN CRPD Committee and Jan Jarab, Regional Representative for Europe of the High Commissioner for Human Rights ( OHCHR).

The European Parliament is drafting a report on the UN’s recommendations, under the leadership of **MEP Helga Stevens **. During the meeting, MEPs could listen and exchange with key EU bodies and the European disability movement. How well the EU will address the UN’s recommendations and implement the UN CRPD, will set a standard for the respect of human rights

Gunta Anca, EDF Vice President:

“The European Parliament’s report is a great starting point for the European Parliament to lead efforts for the implementation of the UN CRPD. The UN’s recommendations provide a clear roadmap and a list of actions to be taken across policy areas: review of the European Disability Strategy, revision of EU laws and policy in light of the UN CRPD, adoption of the European Accessibility Act in line with UN CRPD, the creation of a minimum social protection floor. We would like to congratulate MEP Helga Stevens on the process of the adoption of the European Parliament’s report as it involves fully persons with disabilities and their representative organisations”.

** Helga Stevens, MEP**: "I am overwhelmed by the support for this implementation report and want to thank all the disability organisations, as well as my MEP colleagues for their input. Rarely before have so many European Parliament Committees contributed to a report. The exchange of views today is only a small step in ensuring a holistic report and I am also very pleased that high-level representatives from FRA, European Ombudsman, EDF, OHCHR, and the UN CRPD Committee joined us here today."

Diane Kingston, member of the UN CRPD Committee:

“This is a critical time for the European Parliament. It is the opportunity to make a paradigm shift across the region to fully recognise the rights of persons with disabilities. I urge you to rise to the challenge.”

Emily O'Reilly, European Ombudsman:

"As a supervisory body, the Ombudsman is particularly sensitive to the need for us to listen to what the UN CRPD Committee has said about the EU's compliance, or lack of compliance, with the Convention. We need to focus on concrete actions, so that the Convention does not remain a wish-list but has a genuine impact on the daily lives of persons with disabilities."

Michael O'Flaherty, Director of FRA:

“The UN CRPD is a remarkable instrument. It recasts persons with disabilities as holders of rights and demands that they are active participants in decision making. The UN’s recommendations to the EU give a comprehensive overview of how the EU can live up to the promise of the UN CRPD. Their operational usefulness is very important as they can be directly applied by decision-makers across the EU.”

Jan Jarab , OHCHR Regional Representative for Europe:

“The EU institutions can make a real difference for persons with disabilities and their enjoyment of the rights guaranteed by the UN CRPD. They can do so not just through legislation, but also through EU financial instruments, policy leadership, public messaging and awareness raising.


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