local and regional authorities be recognised as strategic partners in the design, implementation and monitoring of the strategy;
importance of the actions on inclusion and independent living; the pandemic has shown the weaknesses in social protection and inclusion systems;
CoR as observer in the Disability Platform.
holistic intersectional approach and initiatives that will have an impact on the planning, management and assessment of public policies;
CoR should lead by example both in terms of employment opportunities and in producing accessible services, e.g. access to buildings and all working tools;
proper recognition for informal care, which predominantly concerns women;
accessibility as a binding criterion during the revision of the legislative framework on energy in buildings;
adoption of a European card for people with disabilities;
a European agreement on the right to vote of persons with disabilities, so as to remove the barriers of all types;
need for comparable data on disability;
need to facilitate self-employment and self-entrepreneurship for people with disabilities;
combating violence against persons with disabilities, in particular women and people with intellectual and relational disabilities.
The Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumers Affairs Council conclusions of 14-15 June 2019 (14594/19 ) reflect the standpoints and requests of our opinion:
Promote structured cooperation between the Member States, the Commission and representative organisations of persons with disabilities, while also seeking a more balanced participation between women and men, including by involving the national UN focal points in the new Disability Platform, and by cooperating with representatives from the regional and local level.
The full enjoyment of the rights to free movement and to equal participation in democratic processes by persons with disabilities requires policies for improving recognition of their disabilities, for ensuring accessibility in the EU and for promoting their equal participation in elections, both as voters and as candidates, including in local, regional and national elections and the elections to the European Parliament. It also requires eliminating any discrimination on the basis of disability when it comes to civil and political rights, such as the right to vote.
Promote mutual learning and the exchange of good practice between Member States, in cooperation with organisations of persons with disabilities, so as to enhance the knowledge base regarding accessibility and other areas such as community-based social services, independent living, deinstitutionalisation and measures to enhance the employment and entrepreneurship of persons with disabilities, including measures in the context of employment services.
There are still significant gaps and methodological discrepancies in the collection of statistical data on the situation of persons with disabilities among Member States. These should be addressed in order to ensure that information provided is relevant and accurate in terms of quality, frequency and comparability.
When implementing the UNCRPD and developing policies in line with the Strategy, enhance consultation with and active involvement of persons with disabilities in the development and implementation of legislation and policies, including through their representative organisations as stated in the UNCRPD. The participation of persons with disabilities and their organizations, as well as the participation of municipalities, businesses and industries, should be encouraged throughout the processes and on all levels of decision-making.
Support peer learning activities on national disability strategies and national, regional and local disability policies and practices in different areas.
Implement human resources strategies for diversity and inclusion together with accessibility policies for buildings, venues, communication and publications, thus leading by example, to the benefit of policymaking at national, regional and local level and share its good practices with other European institutions.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- is of the view that local and regional governments need to be recognised as strategic partners in the design, implementation and monitoring of the strategy;
- supports the launch of the Disability Platform in 2021 and asks to be part of this platform – to be set up by the European Commission – as an observer;
- reiterates the need to adopt the principle that public administrations should set an example of how to structure social inclusion and guarantee rights and equal opportunities for people with disabilities. The CoR should follow this principle of leading by example and establish a timeline for this;
- notes the lack of proper recognition for informal care, which predominantly concerns women and has re-emerged as a key issue during the pandemic;
- urges the European Commission to consider accessibility as a binding criterion when carrying out the planned revision in 2021 of the legislative framework on energy in buildings;
- agrees with the need to adopt a European card for people with disabilities before the end of 2023;
- calls on the Commission to envisage a European agreement on the right to vote of persons with disabilities, so as to remove the barriers of all types;
- highlights the need for comparable data on disability;
- stresses the need to adapt the skills of persons with disabilities through education and professional training and the action plan for digital education 2021-2027;
- reiterates the need to facilitate self-employment and self-entrepreneurship for people with disabilities;
- calls for local and regional authorities, as well as associations of people with disabilities and their family members, to participate in learning programmes for people with disabilities, and calls for the active participation of local and regional authorities in the integration of social inclusion policies into education policies.