From Rome to Nice in a Wheelchair, the Development of a European Disability Policy
EUROPEAN DISABILITY FORUM EXTRAORDINARY CHAIR IN EUROPEAN DISABILITY LAW AT MAASTRICHT UNIVERSITY, Europa Law Publishing, 2006
52 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2007 Last revised: 19 Nov 2007
This paper, which was published in 2006, gives an overview of the steps that have been taken by the European Union to develop a policy relating to disability and disabled people since its foundation. Initiatives in the period prior to the adoption of the Amsterdam Treaty were characterised by limited action programmes and a lack of binding policy measures. The inclusion in the EC Treaty of Article 13, which provides for the adoption of measures to address disability discrimination; the mobilisation of an active disability movement; and the recognition of a new social model of disability, have resulted in significant developments from the mid-1990s onwards. The most important legal development has been the adoption of the Framework Employment Directive in 2000, which prohibits employment related discrimination on the grounds of disability and requires that reasonable accommodations be made for disabled people. The impact of this provision in a number of Member States is considered and the author reflects on possible ways forward for the EU disability policy. The author holds the European Disability Forum Chair at the Faculty of Law, Maastricht University, the Netherlands.
Keywords: disability, European Community law, European Community disability policy, discrimination, reasonable accommodation, disability mainstreaming
JEL Classification: J71
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