New EU Disability Strategy published

Image of strategy and link to download itThe European Union has published its new Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2021-2030. The new strategy builds on its predecessor, the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020, and contributes to the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights for which an Action Plan will be adopted by the Commission this week.

The Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2021-2030 intends to tackle the diverse challenges that persons with disabilities face. It aims to progress on all areas of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, both at EU and Member State level.

The goal is to ensure that persons with disabilities in Europe, regardless of their sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, age or sexual orientation:

  • enjoy their human rights,
  • have equal opportunities,
  • have equal access to participate in society and economy,
  • are able to decide where, how and with whom they live,
  • can move freely in the EU regardless of their support needs,
  • no longer experience discrimination.


Fostering access to quality and sustainable jobs

In 2022, the Commission will present a package to improve labour market outcomes of persons with disabilities, seeking cooperation with the European Network of Public Employment Services, social partners and organisations of persons with disabilities. The package will support Member States in the implementation of the relevant Employment Guidelines through the European Semester. It will provide guidance and support mutual learning on strengthening capacities of employment and integration services, promoting hiring perspectives through affirmative action and combating stereotypes, ensuring reasonable accommodation, securing health and safety at work and vocational rehabilitation schemes in case of chronic diseases or accidents, exploring quality jobs in sheltered employment, and pathways to the open labour market. 

The Commission will also: 

  • publish, in 2021, an implementation report on the EU Employment Equality Directive and, if appropriate, follow up with a legal proposal in particular to strengthen the role of equality bodies; 
  • issue, in 2021, an Action Plan on Social Economy to improve the enabling environment for the social economy, including opportunities related to persons with disabilities, through social enterprises with a focus on integration, into the open labour market. 

The Commission calls on Member States to: 

  • establish, by 2024, targets for increasing the employment rate of persons with disabilities and reducing employment rate gaps between persons with and without disabilities to help achieve the 2030 headline employment target proposed in the Action Plan to implement the European Pillar of Social Rights for endorsement by the European Council; 
  • strengthen the capacities of employment services for persons with disabilities and enhance work with social partners and organisations of persons with disabilities to that end; 
  • facilitate self-employment and entrepreneurship, including for persons with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities, through providing support on legal and business matters, including by using the EU funds.