The EESC welcomes the new EU Disability Rights Strategy, acknowledging that it is a clear step forward compared with the previous one. It is however concerned about the lack of binding measures and hard legislation implementing the Strategy.
- calls for full involvement and participation of organisations of persons with disabilities (DPOs) in the proposed Disability Platform. The EESC should also be invited to take part;
- thinks the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) should strongly linked to the Disability Strategy by using it to help persons with disabilities (PWD) recover from the pandemic;
- welcomes the proposal for AccessibleEU, but calls for clear and transparent plans on how to fund and staff this agency, and how it will make sure that PWD are represented;
- strongly endorses the flagship initiative on the EU Disability Card calling for it to be implemented by means of a regulation;
- regrets the lack of specific actions addressing the needs of women and girls with disabilities and calls for a specific flagship initiative in the second half of the period of the Strategy.
- considers essential that PWD are not denied access to justice due to legal incapacitation or accessibility issues, lack of support in decision-making or a lack of availability of assistance for communication;
- calls for the guidelines on improvements in independent living and inclusion in the community to include clear definitions based on those established by the European Expert Group on the Transition from Institutional to Community-based Care, as well as CRPD General Comment 5 on Article 19;
- recommends to include indicators on the disability employment gap in the Social Pillar's new Social Scoreboard, and adopt targets that aim to the elimination of any employment gap, with a focus on quality employment in the open labour market;
- underlines the need to ensure more systematic collection of disaggregated data, possibly with the use of the Washington Group's Short Set of Questions;
- calls for the EC to include PWD and DPOs in all areas of the Conference on the Future of Europe, not just those relating specifically to disability;
- recommends that the EU candidate for the CRPD Committee be a European woman with a disability.
- calls on the Council to join the Disability Platform, and to swiftly appoint a disability coordinator as provided for in the Strategy.
- calls on the disability movement to be proactive and to push for each and every action of this Strategy to deliver on what it promises.