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News EU, 4 March 2021

New EU strategy for the rights of people with disabilities

On 3 March 2021, the European Commission presented its Disability Rights Strategy for the period 2021-2030 > Read the report . This 10-year strategy presents key initiatives around three main themes:

Rights in the EU: people with disabilities have the same right as other EU citizens to move to another country or to participate in political life. Based on the experience gained from the ongoing pilot project in eight countries, the European Commission will propose, by the end of 2023, a European disability card for all EU countries, which will facilitate the mutual recognition of disability status between Member States, helping people with disabilities to enjoy their right to free movement. The Commission will also work closely with Member States to ensure the participation of people with disabilities in the electoral process in 2023.

Autonomy: People with disabilities have the right to live independently and to choose with whom they want to live and where. To promote independence and inclusion in the community, the Commission will develop guidelines and launch an initiative to improve social services for people with disabilities.

Non-discrimination and equal opportunities: The strategy aims to protect people with disabilities from all forms of discrimination and violence and to ensure equal opportunities and access to justice, education, culture, sport and tourism. Equal access must also be guaranteed to all health services and employment.


EU countries are key actors in the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Commission will set up the Disability Platform, which will bring together the national authorities responsible for the implementation of the Convention, disability organisations and the Commission to support the implementation of the strategy and to strengthen cooperation and exchange on the implementation of the Convention.

The Commission will mainstream disability issues in all major EU policies and initiatives. Because the rights of people with disabilities do not stop at European borders, the Commission will promote the rights of people with disabilities worldwide. The Union will use instruments such as technical assistance and financial programmes, support through EU delegations, policy dialogues and work in multilateral fora to support partner countries in their efforts to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and provide guidance to implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a disability-sensitive manner.

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