European Commission Emphasises value of ANED
On 11 November 2011 ANED held its Fourth Annual General Meeting (the last for the 2008-2011 work programme) in Brussels, bringing together its academic members from the EU/EEA Member States with representatives from the Commission staff and key invited guests. The annual meeting provides an important opportunity for members to share expertise, to exchange ideas and to consider the future work programme of the Network.
Johan Ten Geuzendam (Head of the European Commission’s Disability Unit)emphasized the value of ANED to the Commission and to the European project more generally, contributing to European policy co-ordination. ANED’s research proved extremely helpful in assisting the formulation of the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020, and over the next year the Commission will be looking to ANED for support in implementing that strategy, through mapping, monitoring and analysing data with academic rigour. ANED’s research has a growing influence on policy and practice, at both national and European levels. The Commission has high expectations for ANED, leading to a deeper analysis and broader geographic reach.
Professor Mark Priestley (Scientific Director of ANED, University of Leeds)summarised ANED’s work programme activities over the past four years, emphasising work in 2011 to support the development and implementation of the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 and the UN Convention. In this context, the key contributions involved: developingcomparative data and indicators; mapping relevant EU laws and policies; monitoring the development and implementation of national policies; mainstreaming disability in the EU Open Methods of Co-ordination.
In2012 ANED will begin a new three-year work programme, expanded to cover 34 countries. This will include work strands on policy mapping at national and European levels, accessibility, national strategies and social polcies, and statistical data and indicators.
The key challenges for the annual meeting were to discuss different methods and tools for monitoring disability equality relevant to the UNCRPD and the EU Disability Strategy. There were significant challenges to consider, including improving the availability of data and indicators, understanding progress and barriers to policy implementation in the context of the current economic crisis., and considering how independent input can contribute to more effective co-ordination between national, European and global disability strategies.
Further presentations are available in the articles: