HRC 52 - EU intervention for the ID with SR on disabilities

Mr. President,

I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the European Union.

We would like to thank the Special Rapporteur for his visit to the European Union and its institutions in March last year and reiterate our continued support for the mandate and his work.

We attach great importance to the situation of persons with disabilities in all Member States of the European Union and are committed to upholding and protecting their rights. The EU shares responsibility with Member States in the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It supports and complements Member States’ activities, mainly in matters relating to the organisation of social protection systems, including measures related to the allocation of social protection benefits and long-term care, as they are fundamentally a responsibility of the Member States.

With the Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2021-2030, the EU is working to implement the commitments undertaken. We are promoting measures to ensure they are able to exercise their rights and to participate in decision-making on an equal basis with others. The Strategy sets out a comprehensive framework to promote their rights and to ensure their full and effective participation in all aspects of life. This includes the promotion of measures to ensure enjoyment of their rights including in the areas of education, employment, housing, health care and social protection. The EU is also committed to advance on the accessibility of the built environment, transport and technologies.

Persons with disabilities, like everyone else, have the right to participate in all areas of life. While substantial progress has been made in recent decades, barriers remain.  

Two of the flagship initiatives of the Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities are intended to support national, regional and local authorities in their efforts for deinstitutionalisation and independent living. These are a guidance with regard to EU funding for independent living and inclusion in the community, and a specific framework for Social Services of Excellence. These measures aim to provide practical policy guidance, including good practice examples, which supports EU funding for the transition towards independent living, underpinned by excellent community-based services. In this work, an intersectional approach is essential for a successful implementation of targeted solutions.

We recognize the critical role of civil society, in particular organisations representing persons with disabilities, in our responses to these challenges, whether to improve accessibility of products and services, provision of quality social services including personal assistants or advocacy work to develop legislation to name some examples.

The EU attaches great importance to the safeguarding and promotion of the rights of persons with disabilities also globally and reinforcing our role as an advocate for rights of persons with disabilities through cooperation, humanitarian action and dialogue with the international community. We stand ready to share our experiences with partners.

The EU confirms its commitment to active participation in the UNCRPD Conference of State Parties, to share our work and exchange views with peer state parties.

We hope to continue our fruitful cooperation, including in the follow up to the recommendations contained in your report.

In that context we continue to seek advice on issues for which the EU has competences under the Treaties, and welcome the rapporteurs views and experience to identify examples of good practice and model policies to better inform our policies and investments.

I thank you.