Non-binding recommendations are no incentive for inclusion
Today, the European Commission has announced its strategy for persons with disabilities for the next ten years. The Strategy lacks binding measures and targets and only makes recommendations for European policies for persons with disabilities in the coming years and is part of the European Pillar of Social Rights. On Monday (8 March), MEPs will debate the report on the implementation of equal treatment in employment and occupation in the light of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Katrin Langensiepen MEP, Greens/EFA rapporteur for the report on the implementation of equal treatment in employment and occupation in the light of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and vice-chair of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, comments:
"Persons with disabilities are still not treated as part of our society in all circumstances. The Commission's Strategy mentions important points, but remains dependent on the goodwill of the EU Member States when it comes to implementation. We will continue to go round in circles if the Member States do not agree to an overarching EU anti-discrimination directive. The Strategy can play an important role in mainstreaming disability rights into EU legislation. For participation in EU legislation, we demand representation for persons with disabilities in all EU institutions.
"On the package of measures announced for 2022 to improve the labour market situation, we call for clear measures to phase out sheltered workshops with time limits. Mandatory quotas for more diversity in companies and more support and training for employees and decision makers, is the right way to make companies fit for employing persons with disabilities and offering easily accessible jobs. We call for more investment in social enterprises where people with disabilities work as employees with full social protection and at a decent salary together with persons without disabilities.
"Free mobility is a valuable asset from which many people with disabilities in the European Union are still excluded. We welcome the project of an EU-wide disability card and underline our demands for the same definition of disability and barrier-free travel services across the EU."
Central demands of the upcoming Langensiepen report are a package of measures with binding targets, deadlines and monitoring for the full implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and an end to discrimination against disabled persons when looking for housing and employment and when travelling.
Watch the plenary debate live on Monday, 8 March, with Katrin Langensiepen:
Report on the implementation of Council Directive 2000/78/EC establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation, taking into account the UN CRPD (2020/2086(INI)).