Eighth ANED Annual Meeting
On 21 and 22 September 2015 the Academic Network of European Disability Experts (ANED) held its 8th Annual Meeting in Brussels. The two day meeting was entirely devoted to further developing the information that ANED provides for mainstreaming a disability perspective in the European Semester process, the EU2020 strategy priorities for the EU Member States.
Hence the focus of the meeting, which took place at EC (DG Employment) premises, was to identify the key issues the situation of persons with disabilities in the context of EU2020 and how to tailor the information provided by ANED in the best possible way to the needs of the EC officers involved in the EU2020 process.
The EU’s Conclusion of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 place a strong responsibility on the EU institutions to mainstream disability in their policy work. The Commission’s disability unit is supported in this function by an European network of academic experts in the field of disability (ANED).
ANED submits country fiches that provide a disability mainstreaming perspective on the European Semester documentation and EU2020 strategy priorities for the 28 EU Member States, plus shadow reports for 7 candidate and associated countries.
A disability fiche was prepared for each country in 2014. These are published on the ANED website (http://www.disability-europe.net/). The country fiches include four key areas relevant to disability mainstreaming:
- The employment situation and employment policies
- Educational achievement and training schemes
- Social protection and social inclusion
- The use of EU funds to improve these areas for disabled people
The first day of the meeting between EC officers involved in the EU Semester process and ANED experts aimed at exchanging views on and insights in the EU and national disability policies and the situation of person with disabilities in the context of EU 2020 relevant issues. The meeting identified key information and data on disability issues relevant for the European Semester process to be provided by ANED.
After the opening by Luisa Cabral, head of the European Commission’s Disability Unit, professor Mark Priestley, ANED’s scientific director, gave a presentation of the background of the EU and Member States disability policy and the situation of persons with disabilities in the EU. Subsequently Stefanos Grammenos, ANED’s expert on statistics, presented which key data and data sources are used for the input of ANED in the EU2020 process.
The meeting on the first day ended with discussing the main elements for input of information by ANED in 2016:
- disability Indicators based on statistical data from EU-SILC (Statistics on Income and Living Conditions), LFS (Labour Force Survey), ESHIS (European Health and Social Integration Survey);
- disability in National Reform Programs (NRPs), Country Reports (CR) and Country Specific Recommendations (CSRs);
- identification of additional input that may be needed for the 2015 country fiches.
On the second day small groups of ANED experts and EC officers discussed input required (and challenges faced) relating to specific themes. These themes included employment, education, poverty and social exclusion and the use of European Structural Investment Funds (ESIF).
The changes and improvements discussed and conclused by the meeting will show in the 2015 EU2020 country fiches on the ANED website.