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The European Commission made a proposal for a directive on a European Accessibility Act, which will set common accessibility requirements for certain key products and services, and will help people with disabilities at EU level to participate fully in society.

The EESC is currently preparing an opinion on the Commission's proposal . On 13 April 2016, the Section for Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship (SOC) will hold a public hearing in conjunction with the work on this opinion.

The conclusions of the hearing will feed directly into the work of the drafting group which will hold its second meeting in the afternoon of the same day.

Press Summary
  • The EESC raises concerns over the lack of mutual recognition of disabilities among EU Member States
  • Recommends the implementation of an EU Disability Card by way of a new regulation
  • Calls for the physical separation of the EU Disability Card and EU Parking Card to enhance accessibility


40 pages

EESC Study Group on Disability Rights

The report is the result of the work of the Study Group on Disability Rights (SG DIS) of the past two years and half and brings together the EESC's recommendations gathered from different stakeholders with the objective to contribute to the EU reporting exercise to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) Committee.

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Following the EU's ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and its Optional Protocol in 2010, the EESC committed1 to setting up a structure to monitor the implementation of the Convention. The Study Group on Disability Rights started its activities in 2015, with the following objectives:

  • To ensure practical implementation of the UNCRPD both within and outside the EESC;
  • To facilitate EU policy guidance in key areas highlighted by the UNCPRD Committee;
  • To facilitate participation by providing a forum for debate and structured participation for disability organisations (DPOs), civil society organisations and other stakeholders in the implementation of the UNCRPD.

Activity Report - Disability rights - Period 2018-2020

37 pages

This report presents the state of play of the implementation of the right of European Union (EU) citizens with disabilities to vote in elections to the European Parliament (EP). The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), an EU advisory body, believes it has a duty, in the run-up to the EP elections, to provide EU institutions, Member States and EU citizens with a full picture of how this right is actually implemented. The EESC hopes that at the next elections in 2024, no EU citizen will be deprived of their right to vote because of their disability.

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24 pages

All adult Europeans, including those with disabilities, have the right to vote in national and European Parliament elections. A report by European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) rapporteur Krzysztof Pater estimates that around 800 000 EU citizens in 16 EU countries are legally deprived by national rules of their right to vote in elections to the European Parliament because of their disabilities or mental health problems.

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