21 Jun, 2023

Shaping the Future of Independent Living at the EU Disability Platform

Blue piece of COFACE star

The United Nation Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) protects and promotes the right for all persons to live independently and be included in the community. The European Union and all the EU Members States are parties to the Convention, legally binding them to fulfill their obligations under it. However, none of the countries in the European Union can truly say that it has achieved independent living and inclusion, resulting in a quasi-systematic exclusion of persons with disabilities and their families.  

In March 2021, the European Commission (EC) released the EU Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2021-2030. This Strategy is the EC main instrument to achieve the UNCRPD. Independent living and inclusion in the community is promoted by one of the flagship initiatives of the Strategy. According to the monitoring framework, this initiative is on track to be released in 2023, with a public version foreseen for December.  

In order to steer and help with the implementation at the European and National level, the European Commission set up the EU Disability Platform composed of representatives from all EU member states and 14 Civil Society organizations, including COFACE Families Europe. Members wanting to take the collaboration further have been invited to join sub-groups to work specifically on certain flagship initiatives under the Strategy, including the Sub-Group on the Independent Living Guidelines of which COFACE is a member.  

The first meeting in April 2023 was well attended and focused on defining the scope of the future guidelines by sending inputs to the European Commission. The Subgroup is planned to meet again at least twice in order to share good practices and be able to further input on these future guidelines that will be a central part of the realization of the Strategy.  

COFACE calls for an ambitious and societal vision of the independent living transition, that will go beyond the disability and social sectors and consider the needs of families to trigger a real societal S.H.I.F.T. 

For further information, contact Camille Roux, COFACE Senior Policy and Advocacy Officer: croux@coface-eu.org  

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