What are the Disability Intergroup achievements?

22 May 2019

Overview

The Disability Intergroup of the European Parliament is an informal grouping of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from all nationalities and most political groups who are interested in promoting the disability policy in their work at the European Parliament as well as at the national level. It is also one of the largest Intergroups, with over 110 MEPs.

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) has been ratified by the EU and each of its member states. MEPs from the Disability Intergroup worked together, across all political groups and most European Parliament committees, to ensure the CRPD was always on the political agenda, with concrete results in terms of new and strengthen legislation, resolutions and key reports.

In addition to working to ensure that the European Parliament continued to be a strong supporter of disability rights in the EU, the Intergroup also actively campaigned for the Parliament itself to become a more inclusive and accessibility institution, both for staff as well as all the Europeans it welcomes. The Intergroup jointly advocated for a CRPD compliant and ambitious roadmap on Equality for the Parliament;

You can read all about the intergroup and how it works here on the Disability Intergroup webpage.

You can see many of its achievements and events searching for #DisabilityIntergroup on Twitter.

 

Main legislation adopted

2016

2017

  • Adoption of Regulation and Directive on the cross-border exchange between the Union and third countries of accessible format copies of certain works and other subject matter protected by copyright and related rights for the benefit of persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print-disabled (Marrakesh Treaty).

2018

2019

Screenshot showing votes for the accessibility act - 613 in favour, 23 against

  Votes for the European Accessibility Act in the European Parliament

With no doubt, the EU legal framework has substantially improved with regards to accessibility in the current term. Public websites and mobile applications, accessible formats for printed materials, audiovisual content on TV and video on-demand platforms, telecommunications and a wide range of products and services, particularly on the ICT domain, will need to be more accessible for persons with disabilities. Additionally, the rights of parents and carers of persons with disabilities will also be strengthened due to the strong support of the European Parliament.

 

Parliament reports on pending legislation

 

2018

 

2019

Regulations related to the EU budget 2021-2027:

All these reports were vastly improved with regards to ensuring the accessibility, reasonable accommodation, inclusion and wellbeing of persons with disabilities in line with the UN CRPD. Provisions clarifying the need to involve civil society in partnership and multi-level governance, and the principle of non-discrimination were also greatly enhanced. Strong amendments were tabled and supported by a number of members of the Disability Intergroup, making a real difference to the outcomes of the reports.

These reports related to key funds for the inclusion of persons with disabilities, as well as the Regulation on Rail Passengers Rights, are crucial to make sure a strong position of the next Parliament when negotiating with the Council.

 

Adoption of important reports

 

2016

The Intergroup contributed extensively to the process of reporting on the EUs implementation of the CRPD.

2017

The Intergroup contributed strongly to a detailed and thorough evaluation of the current European Disability Strategy.

 

Awareness raising events and expert meetings

 

Meeting of the Disability Intergroup on the Digital Single Market

Speakers and participants in a roundtable

15 September 2015

This meeting brought together key MEPs working on Digital Single Market Strategy to assure they were aware of the needs of persons with disabilities

 

Meeting ‘Ending violence against children with disabilities’

17 February 2016

The Disability intergroup co-organised this meeting with the intergroup on children’s rights. Experts discussed with Intergroups MEPs what the European Union and its Member States can do to ensure that the rights of children with disabilities are better respected both in the EU and beyond.

Meeting “Refugees with Disabilities: Overlooked, Underserved”

28 March 2017

This meeting, co-organised with Human Rights Watch and the European Disability Forum looked at actions that EU needed to implement to ensure aid reaches refugees with disabilities.

Meeting on the EU implementation of the UN CRPD

6 April 2017

This Intergroup meeting was dedicated to discuss a report on the EU Implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The 2030 Agenda as a positive narrative for the future of the EU

7 June 2017

The Disability Intergroup of the European Parliament in collaboration with the European Disability Forum (EDF) gathered experts and Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to talk about their role in realising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the European level.

Meeting on persons with disabilities' right to political participation

8 November 2017

The Disability Intergroup of the European Parliament, in collaboration with EDF and the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), gathered experts, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), DPOs, disability rights activists, representatives of international organisations and of political party support organizations to talk about the involvement of persons with disabilities by political parties

Meeting on challenges and needs of family carers in Europe

30 November 2017

The Intergroup met to discuss COFACE Families Europe report ‘Who cares? Study on the challenges and needs of family carers in Europe’

The inclusion of persons with disabilities in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals by the European Union

7 June 2017

On 7 June 2017, the Disability Intergroup of the European Parliament in collaboration with the European Disability Forum (EDF) gathered experts and Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to talk about their role in realising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the European level.

4th European Parliament of Persons with Disabilities

Speakers and participants in a roundtable

6 December 2017

The 4th European Parliament of Persons with Disabilities reunited more than 600 persons with disabilities from all over Europe to engage in dialogue with European leaders concerning their rights.

Hosted by the President of the European Parliament, and organised with the European Disability Forum, it was the highlight of this legislature, in terms of its political relevance and outcomes. Delegations of persons with disabilities from every EU country and beyond took part and adopted the EDF Manifesto for the European Elections 2019.

Meeting on Rail Passengers Right for Persons with Disabilities

28 February 2018

The Disability Intergroup held an event on the Revision of the Regulation on Rail Passengers’ Rights (1371/2007). The event gathered representatives of the European Commission, Members of the European Parliament responsible for the regulation, Members of the Disability Intergroup, organisations of persons with disabilities, rail industry representatives and experts.

Accessibility and the Digital Single Market

22 November 2018

An open conference about the recent EU legislation that will make the European Digital Single Market more inclusive to persons with disabilities. The conference was well attended and counted with the participation of the different units from the European Commission responsible for the four Directives discussed.

EU Funds

10 October 2018

European Expert Group on the Transition from Institutional to Community-based Care (EEG) technical meeting “Future of the EU funds for the transition from institutional to community-based care

EU Disability Card

9 December 2018

This event about the pilot project of the EU Disability Card counted with the participation of the European Commission, national ministries, disability organisations and disability advocates.

Meeting on Political Participation

Seminar on Political Participation

30 January 2019

The Disability Intergroup hosted a meeting with disability advocates, politicians, and policymakers from several institutions, where they discussed the challenges to political participation of persons with disabilities, during a seminar in the European Parliament.

EU parking card- don’t take my spot

26 March 2019

The Disability Intergroup held a meeting on the EU Disability Parking Card which brought together policymakers, persons with disabilities and authorities responsible for implementing it. The Disability Parking Card is one of the most visible EU initiatives for persons with disabilities, and it is also one of the oldest ones (1998).

 

Resolutions and statements

European Parliament resolution of 23 November 2016 on sign languages and professional sign language interpreters

Supported by several members of the Intergroup, this report urges European Institutions to adopt several practices, including hiring sign language interpreters and provide statistics on deaf, deafblind and hard-of-hearing sign language users.

Supporting the EP Plenary statement on Guardianship in the EU

Millions of European citizens are deprived of their right to make decisions: Guardianship laws restricting the legal capacity and autonomy of persons with disabilities are widespread in the EU – a situation that must be changed. Following the leadership training Inclusion Europe held in September 2017, two Members of the European Parliament, drafted an Oral question on guardianship to be discussed in the Plenary session of the European Parliament on 5-8 February. While this initiative did not succeed it showed the willingness of Intergroup MEPs to campaign for the fundamental rights of people with disabilities in the EU.

 

Declarations

2015

The declaration signed by several MEPs from the Disability Intergroup, calls on the European Commission to “raise awareness among stakeholders and economic operators on the need for increased accessibility in tourism for travelers requiring such accessibility” pointing that accessible tourism is “not merely a social responsibility”, but is an obligation of the EU. It also underlines its importance to boost jobs and the economy.

 

Debates

Political participation of persons with disabilities

On the 5th July 2018, the European Parliament debated in plenary the state of political participation of persons with disabilities. The debate counted with the intervention of Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Věra Jourová and of 26 MEPs from across the political spectre.

 

Other

  • The Disability Intergroup launched a monthly newsletter and reinforced its external communication.
  • To mark 70 years of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the Disability Intergroup released a joint statement with the Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup, the Children Intergroup, the Youth Intergroup, the LGBTI Intergroup and the Intergroup on Freedom of Religion or Belief and Religious Tolerance.
  • Members of the European Parliament commits to support creation of European network of persons with dwarfism.
  • The Disability Intergroup sent a letter to Vice-President Dimitrios Papadimoulis on the Roadmap for Diversity. 
  • During the Parliamentary term, the Disability Intergroup has been informed of the citizens’ petitions sent to the PETI Committee of the European Parliament when these were related to the rights of persons with disabilities.

 

Further Information

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