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The Academic Network of European Disability Experts (ANED)

Social protection for disabled people in Europe: a synthesis report

In 2016 ANED carried out research into social protection for disabled people in its 35 countries using Article 28 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as a key reference point. The topic of social protection was selected as the thematic focus of ANED’s 2016 work by the ANED research team in collaboration with the staff of the European Commission’s Disability Unit. 

This research is presented (along with relevant analysis by Roy Sainsbury, Anna Lawson and Mark Priestley) in 35 national reports and also in a statistical analysis, carried out by Stefanos Grammenos and attached in full to this report as an annex (uploaded as separate file). The report will draw together analysis of domestic social protection policies in all the ANED countries, reference will also be made to relevant developments at the EU and UN levels. As regards the EU, Section 1.3 below will provide context for this report by highlighting how social protection for disabled people sits within EU policies and priorities. Recommendations relating to EU action will then appear, alongside other conclusions and recommendations, in Chapter 10. As regards the UN, Section 1.2 below will outline relevant provisions of the CRPD and the reasons why this is relevant to the EU. In addition, Chapters 2-9, which all contain analysis of national social protection laws and policies, will all include discussion of any relevant UN guidance.

Please download the synthesis, statistical analysis or country reports here


Each year we assess evidence relevant to progress on the EU2020 Strategy from a disability perspective.

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DOTCOM describes the policy and legal situation across the EU in the light of the commitments undertaken for the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

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Based on data of Eurostat it can be estimated that there are approximately 80 million EU citizens with disabilities.

The EU and its Member States cooperate to ensure the enjoyment of their rights of EU citizens with disabilities and their participation in society on an equal basis with others as provided in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and the EU Disability Strategy and relevant EU legislation.

The Academic Network of Disability Experts (ANED) supports the European Commission and the EU Member States by providing independent scientific advice, analysis and information on EU and national disability policies and legislation, links of national policies with the EU level, as well as information about the situation of persons with disabilities.

Thematic priorities for ANED’s annual work programmes in fields as employment, education, health and social protection are discussed and agreed with the European Commission, to ensure relevance for the main priority issues for EU citizens with disabilities.