Persons with disabilities are NOT excluded from ....

"the general education system on the basis of disability, and that children with disabilities are not excluded from free and compulsory primary education, or from secondary education, on the basis of disability"

EDF: Letter to the Heads of States and Governments

Dear President,

Dear Heads of States and Governments,


The European Disability Forum is the representative voice of 65 million European citizens with disabilities. We are addressing you to ensure that the future framework for the European economic and social policy, EU 2020, contributes to the inclusion in the society of persons with disabilities - a group that has always faced discrimination and exclusion, and is now hit hard by the economic crisis.


All EU Member States have signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and 13 have already ratified it. Furthermore, the Council has agreed on the accession of the EU to this unique human rights Treaty. These commitments must now be translated into concrete policy actions.


In order to ensure the inclusion of persons with disabilities within the framework of economic growth, social inclusion and sustainability, clear and achievable targets need to be defined. Meeting these targets presupposes close coordination between EU-level policies and the efforts of Member States, and the meaningful involvement of representative organisations of civil society in both the adoption and implementation processes.


A condition for the creation of a successful EU 2020 Strategy is to ensure immediate involvement of persons with disabilities in the adoption process which will have an impact on our lives in accordance with the principle "Nothing about us without us".


We believe that this can only be achieved through the adoption of a European Disability Pact which can make the EU 2020 Strategy work for persons with disabilities. Such a Pact would include:


-          1 Mainstreaming of the needs of persons with disabilities within the EU policies and legislation

-          2 Defining clear achievable targets in the area of employment, social inclusion, and social protection for persons with disabilities

-          3 Monitoring and follow-up mechanisms

-          4 Ensuring coordination between EU Member States and EU institutions regarding disability policy

-          5 Involving representative organisations of persons with disabilities in all decision-making and implementation processes which concern them

We remain at your disposal for further discussions on the EU 2020 Strategy and on the role of persons with disabilities in the European social and economic developments.


Yours sincerely,


Yannis Vardakastanis

President of the European Disability Forum

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