The European Disability Forum is an independent NGO that represents the interests of 80 million Europeans with disabilities. EDF is the only European platform run by persons with disabilities and their families. EDF was created in 1996 by its member organisations to make sure decisions concerning disabled people are taken with and by disabled people.
Through its manifesto on the EU elections 2014, EDF calls on candidates MEPs and political parties to include the following priorities into their electoral programmes for the European elections 2014. Key points from the Manifesto are:
1. The promotion of a vision of an inclusive, sustainable and democratic Europe
EDF urges the EU to move away from the austerity policy and bring back people, inclusion, solidarity, equality and democratic legitimacy at the heart of its action. That is the only way to restore citizens’ trust.
2. The reform of Europe’s economic and social policies to ensure the protection and enjoyment of human rights of Europeans with disabilities
Due to unprecedented cuts in social spendings, millions of persons with disabilities are thrown into poverty and social exclusion. Social services are essential in enabling persons with disabilities to live independently and to participate fully in society, which are rights guaranteed by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with disabilities – to which the EU is party, along with 25 Member States.
The EU must adopt new objectives concerning persons with disabilities in the upcoming review of the Europe 2020 Strategy – the only way to avoid its failure and mainstream disability rights in the European Semester process to esnure the protection and enjoyment of human rights for Europeans with disabilities.
3. Making goods and services accessible for all through:
– the European Accessibility Act,a much-awaited EU legislation on the accessibility of goods and services in the EU internal market;
– the proposed EU Directive on the accessibility of public websites;
– accessibility of transport services and infrastructure;
– removing obstacles to free movement for persons with disabilities and their families;
– making EU funds barrier-free for persons with disabilities.
4. The adoption of the proposed general non-discrimination directive, a much-anticipated EU law
EDF urges the EU to adopt the proposed Directive, as amended by the European Parliament, which aims to protect persons with disabilities (amongst other groups) against discrimination in all areas of life outside of employment.
5. The swift ratification by the EU and by all Member states of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
The EU and some Member States, despite being party to the UN Convention, are still expected to ratify the Optional Protocol, which introduces important procedures to strengthen the implementation of the Convention.
6. The establishment of mechanisms within EU institutions to mainstream the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities while ensuring the involvement of persons with disabilities
The EU has a pro-active duty to implement the Convention both in terms of its own internal work, but also in reviewing and modifying all existing laws and practices that discriminate against people with disabilities, and in shaping new legislation, policies and programmes in line with the Convention.
Please find the full Manifesto here: