European Commission assesses progress.

SW – 08/2019

In November 2010, the European Commission presented its European Disability Strategy 2010-2020: A Renewed Commitment to a Barrier-Free Europe. As the end of the strategy period approaches, the Commission wishes to review its implementation.

Through a public consultation, the Commission wants to consult stakeholders on the measures and initiatives taken by the EU since 2010 to implement the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNHRC) at EU level.

The aim of implementing the measures and policy initiatives of the EU Disability Strategy is to achieve a barrier-free Europe. The strategy identifies eight areas for action: accessibility, participation, equality, employment, education and training, social protection, health, and external action. Each action area has its own overarching objective.

The Commission prepared its first interim progress report on the strategy in February 2017. In its report, the Commission highlighted the progress made since 2010 and reaffirmed its commitment to implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. For example, in the ‘Accessibility’ area of action, progress was identified in the adopted Directive (EU) 2019/882 of 17 April 2019 on accessibility requirements for products and services and Directive (EU) 2016/2102 of 26 October 2016 on accessibility to the websites and mobile applications of public sector bodies (Web Accessibility Directive). In July 2019, the Commission opened infringement proceedings against Germany and other countries for failure to notify full implementation of the Web Accessibility Directive (see article July 2019).

The European Commission wants to use the public consultation to involve as broad a spectrum of stakeholders as possible in the assessment process. The consultation is open until 23 October 2019.