European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 helped to remove barriers

Today, the European Commission is publishing the evaluation of the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020. The Strategy aims to empower persons with disabilities to enjoy their full rights and to benefit from participating in society on an equal basis with others. It also implements the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at EU level. The 10-year evaluation shows that, while there is room for improvement, the Strategy had a positive impact on EU rules and policies. A good example of its positive impact is the inclusion of disability issues in EU legislation and policy, with the adoption of the European Accessibility Act, the Web Accessibility Directive and legislation on the rights of passengers. Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli said: “We have achieved a strong legal framework at EU level to eliminate barriers that prevent people with disabilities from participating fully in society. We have to keep up our efforts. Early next year, the Commission will present a reinforced strategy for 2021-2030. The new strategy will build on the progress achieved and the challenges identified in the present evaluation.” Involving persons with disabilities and organisations representing them in the policy-design of the Strategy has contributed to its positive results, notably in making sure that issues that really matter to them were high on the EU’s agenda. Despite the efforts of the European Union and its Member States, people with disabilities continue to face challenges, like high rates of unemployment or poverty. The new Strategy 2021-2030 will build on the results of today’s evaluation and will address emerging issues such as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on persons with disabilities. The evaluation can be accessed here