There are almost 100 million people with disabilities in the European Union (EU). Despite the progress made in recent decades, people with disabilities still face multiple barriers to accessing their rights and independence. While recent years have brought a number of improvements, the European Commission published its Disability Rights Strategy 2021-2030 on 3rd March 2021. This approach aims in particular to consolidate the rights of people with disabilities so that they can participate fully in society.
This European disability policy is also based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ratified by all EU countries.
As part of this new strategy, the Commission will propose recommendations to the Member States to improve the living conditions of people with disabilities, the labour market prospects of people with disabilities, and to develop excellent social services. The Commission will also launch a European resource center in 2022 called AccessibleEU to improve the coherence of accessibility policies, as well as a new platform on disability that will bring together the relevant national authorities, disability organisations and the Commission itself. Finally, the Commission will propose in 2023 the creation of a European disability card recognized in all EU countries to help people with disabilities travel more easily between EU countries. Currently, there is no mutual recognition of disability status between EU Member States. The European disability card will ensure equal access across borders to benefits for people with disabilities, mainly in the areas of culture, leisure, sport and transport.