There are close to 100 million people with disabilities in the European Union (EU). Despite the progress made in recent decades, people with disabilities still face various barriers in the enjoyment of their rights and independence. While recent years have brought a number of improvements, the European Commission has through its publishing of the Disability Rights Strategy 2021-2030 on 3rd March 2021, aimed to effectively consolidate the rights of people with disabilities in view of enabling disabled individuals to fully participate in society.
The aforementioned policy is in pertinent part based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ratified by all EU Member States (MS).
As part of this new strategy, the Commission will propose recommendations to the MS directed at not only the improvement of living conditions of people with disabilities, yet equally directed at the improvement of labour market prospects of said individuals. Another primary objective under this strategy will be the further development of effective social services throughout the EU.
The Commission will equally launch a European resource center in 2022. The latter will be named AccessibleEU, and will serve the purpose of improving the coherence of accessibility policies, as well as serve as a new platform on the subject matter of disability that will merge national authorities, disability organizations and the Commission itself.
In 2023, the Commission will finally propose the creation of a European disability card recognized in all EU MS. The card´s main objective will reside in aiding people with disabilities in traveling more easily throughout the EU. As there currently is no mutual recognition of an individual´s disability status between MS, the European disability card will duly ensure equal access across EU borders in benefit of disabled individuals in the areas not limited to but including those of culture, leisure, sport and transport.