Brussels, 21 May 2015
Yesterday the European Parliament adopted a resolution in which it expresses its strong support to the full implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD). It was adopted with an overwhelming majority among the political parties.
The resolution followed a plenary debate of the European Parliament and a public hearing, in which MEPs and representatives from the disability movement and EU institutions discussed the state of play of the implementation of the UN Convention.
The resolution states that the European Parliament should be fully involved in monitoring and implementing the UN Convention. In particular it highlights the UN Convention review process and the constructive dialogue between the EU and the UN CRPD Committee.
EDF welcomes the European Parliament’s resolution and its involvement in the review process. We believe that the EU institution representing 500 million EU citizens should be on an equal footing with other EU institutions in designing EU laws and policies for persons with disabilities.
Through its resolution, the European Parliament supports the adoption of two key pieces of legislation: the European Accessibility Act and the General Antidiscrimination Directive; both pieces of legislation are essential part of implementing the UN Convention.
The resolution also calls on the Member States to translate the obligations derived from Article 12 of the UN Convention into national laws and most specifically, the right of all persons with disabilities to vote and to be elected.
As a party to the UN Convention, the EU should also ensure that all its external actions foster the inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities through their representative organisations. However, some policies, such as the Gender Action Plan, did not include specific references to persons with disabilities.
WHAT DO WE NOW EXPECT FROM THE PARLIAMENT?
The consensus expressed by the plenary debate offers an opportunity for the European Parliament to take steps to systematically implement the UN Convention within its own structures. In particular, the Parliament should finalise the creation of a political mechanism, the Cross-Committee Network on the implementation of the CRPD, with an ambitious mandate to stimulate and guarantee a consistent CRPD implementation across key Parliamentary Committees. The Network should be a tool to enable a strong and efficient political coordination with other EU institutions. Such a Cross-Committee Network must closely involve persons with disabilities through their representative organisations.
Furthermore, the European Parliament should also fully respect the UN Convention when it acts as a public administration, creating an inclusive work environment, making its meetings, communication and procedures fully accessible to persons with disabilities etc.
EDF calls on the European Parliament to keep the rights of persons with disabilities high on its agenda. The UN CRPD Committee will issue its recommendations to the EU in September. These recommendations should serve as a basis for disability policy in the EU and its Member States for the coming months and years. EDF calls on the European Parliament to organise another consultation of the disability movement, followed by another plenary session on this topic.
- Find out more about the EU review process on the implementation of the UN Convention
- Watch the video of the plenary debate of the Parliament
- Download the resolution from the Parliament’s website
- Read more about the hearing at the Parliament
Contact EDF: Lila Sylviti | Communication officer | firstname.lastname@example.org