A new development framework for the EU - How inclusive is it?
The new EU Development Strategy - adopted in May 2012 - does not include specific references to the rights of persons with disabilities, but offers entry points for an inclusive EU development cooperation.
In their decisions, EU Development Ministers endorsed the general direction as outlined in the Commission's proposal. According to the Agenda for Change, the EU will focus its development work on the creation of 'inclusive growth'. Moreover, a strong emphasis should be placed on human rights and governance.
Our work on the Agenda for Change
Our proposed amendment aimed at reflecting the new reality of the EU as a party to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. To gain support for such a specific reference to persons with disabilities, a number of advocacy letters were sent to decision-makers, and a number of bilateral meetings were held both at national level and at European level.
Results of our work
It reads: "EU support to governance should feature more prominently in all partnerships. This calls for a rights-based approach, promoting in particular the right to universal and non-discriminatory access to basic services, participation in democratic political processes, transparency and accountability, justice and the rule of law, and with a focus on poor and vulnerable groups."
This new element was added as a result of our request to address the rights of persons with disabilities explicitly.
The way forward
In that context, it is of greatest importance for the EU to give itself a disability-inclusive 7-year budgetary framework. Negotiations to draft this framework are currently under way. CBM will make inputs into those crucial discussions so that persons with disabilities can move up higher the EU's development agenda in the future.