Academic network of European disability experts (ANED)
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  • Centre for Disability Studies University of Leeds

Welcome to ANED easy-to-read

The Academic Network of European Disability experts (ANED) was created by the European Commission in December 2007. ANED established and maintains a pan-European academic network in the disability field to support policy development in collaboration with the Commission's Disability Unit. Its philosophy and aims support the objectives of European disability policy towards the goal of full participation and equal opportunities for all disabled people.
ANED builds upon the expertise of existing disability research centres and national networks, supported by contacts in each country, expert rapporteurs in specific themes, and links to other policy and research networks. In this way, it provides a co-ordinating infrastructure of academic support for practical implementation of the European Disability Strategy and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Europe.
The Network is managed by Human European Consultancy (NL) in partnership with the Centre for Disability Studies at the University of Leeds (UK).

Input to the European Semester

In November 2013 the Commission adopted the 2014 Annual Growth Survey, setting out the challenges and priorities for the next cycle. As the 28 EU Member States governments prepare their input to the European Semester, ANED is again supporting the Commission with direct input to the policy process from a disability perspective.

A focus on public and political life

In the context of the 2013 European Year of Citizens, and preparations for the 2014 European elections, ANED’s topic focus for 2013 was on issues of citizenship for disabled people and their participation in public and political life. We examine this theme both from a legal perspective and from the perspective of access and accessibility. The work is conducted in close collaboration with the European Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and a joint compendium of indicators and will be published during 2014.

Linking European and national disability strategies

Professor Mark Priestley (ANED Scientific Director) discussed the lessons learned from ANED’s monitoring of the EU Open Methods of Co-ordination (OMCs).

It is widely accepted that the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 requires a more co-ordinated policy implementation model than earlier EU Disability Action Plans. An effective model for disability policy co-ordination would need to be consistent with mechanisms for monitoring and implementing the Europe 2020 strategy and UN Convention reporting processes (it should support them but not duplicate them). Any new arrangements also would need to be politically and technically feasible within the existing EU structures and institutions.

ANED Reports

ANED Activity reports:

2012 ANED activity report EN DE FR

2011 ANED activity report EN DE FR

2010 ANED activity report EN DE FR

2009 ANED activity report EN DE FR

2008 ANED activity report EN DE FR

Reports published by the ANED network are available on the following themes:

Law and policy

Data and indicators

Monitoring rights


Social inclusion

Independent living

Education / training

Benefits / Entitlements


Consumer protection

ANED launches online tool

In 2012 ANED announced the launch of ‘DOTCOM’ (the Disability Online Tool of the Commission). This online resource offers a major public database of information, collected by ANED in consultation with the European Commission and the EU High Level Group on Disability, about national laws, policies, strategies and initiatives in the Member States of the European Union, its Candidate countries and other associated countries. For each of the 34 countries, and for the EU, it will include summary information on 43 selected policy instruments (more than 1,500 records) elaborated from the priorities established in the Commission Staff Working Paper accompanying the European Disability Strategy (see annex 2).

The tool is easy to use and allows public access to direct comparisons of the policy initiatives taken by different European countries to address disability issues relevant to implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilitiesand the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020. The database will be maintained and updated periodically with new country information and key policy developments.A

Sixth ANED Annual meeting


On 12 November 2013 ANED held its sixth Annual General Meeting in Brussels, bringing together 52 participants from 29 countries, including members of the academic network, Commission staff and invited guests. The annual meeting provides an important opportunity for members to share their research experience, to exchange evidence on developments at the national level, to meet with staff from the EU Commission, disabled people’s organizations and key stakeholders and to engage in dialogue about emerging research findings and policy developments.

An important element of the discussion was also to understand how research can make an impact on disability policy development and decision making.

Go to the European Commission - Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities This initiative is financed by the EC Programme Progress. But the views expressed in this website do not necessarily reflect the official views of the EU institutions.