As representative of over 11,000 support services for persons with disabilities across Europe, EASPD’s report picked up three key messages from the sector. Firstly, the European Semester plays a role in the implementation of the UN CRPD, even though to a limited and sometimes negative extent. Secondly, the European Commission and Member States should develop specific sections related to the CRPD’s implementation– in particular Articles 19, 24, 27 – in their Country Reports and National Reform Programmes. Lastly, the implementation of the UN CRPD through the European Semester is fundamental if Europe is to reach its human rights obligations and medium to long-term strategies (Europe 2020 Strategy, Stability and Growth Pact, etc).
According to the EASPD Secretary General Luk Zelderloo, “it is clear that the European Semester has a strong impact on the lives of many persons with disabilities in Europe: including their access to the labour market, education systems and community based support services. The European Commission must ensure that the European Semester is used to help the implementation of the UN Convention; not to hinder it”.
The report thus looks into why the European Semester – a process of primarily economic coordination – should help to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – a human rights treaty.
The second part of the report assesses the impact of the European Semester on three articles of the UN Convention, i.e. Article 19 “Living in the Community”, Article 24 “Education” and Article 27 “Work and Employment”. It also presents concrete and pragmatic proposals on how to strengthen the implementation of these Articles within the European Semester.
The third and last chapter of the report deals with the main problems harming the implementation of the UN Convention through high-quality support systems in nine different countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Romania and Slovenia.
It will soon be available in French, German and Bulgarian.
Link to Report and additional information
- EASPD Report: How can the European Semester help to implement the UN CRPD (November 2015)
- EASPD Report: Europe 2020 and the European Semester, Bringing Wellbeing to All?
- EASPD Briefing on the European Semester
- Semester Alliance: Toolkit on the European Semester
- Social Services Europe Recommendations on the AGS (October 2015)