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The Academic Network of European Disability Experts (ANED)

ANED’s Second Annual Meeting

On 26th November 2009 ANED held its second Annual Meeting in Brussels, bringing together its academic members from all member states with representatives from the European Commission and key invited guests. 


Members were able to meet to share expertise and help shape the new EU Disability Strategy from 2010. The meeting focused on two key questions: What evidence is needed to measure progress on disability equality in Europe? What are the priorities for policy action at the European level and national levels?

Johan Ten Geuzendam (Head of Unit of the European Commission’s Disability Unit)emphasized the value of ANED to the Commission. ANED’s review of legislation proved very helpful in assisting the preparation of the European Council’s decision on the conclusion of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, by helping to draw up the declaration of competences annexed to the decision to become a party to the UN Convention.

ANED’s special Report on Independent Living, and country reports on this subject, were of great assistance to those preparing the Report of theAd Hoc Expert Group on the Transition from Institutional to Community-based Care for Commissioner Spidla.

ANED has also been asked to carry out a critical analysis of the Open Method of Coordination in relation to employment, education and social policy, to enable consideration of the extent to which this approach can be incorporated into the forthcoming Disability Strategy.

ANED’s consideration of the potential need for new legislation at the EU level will be extremely helpful in drawing up the strategy. This Conference should assist in drawing up priorities for the strategy.

Inmaculada Placencia Porrero, (Deputy Head of Unit of the European Commission’s Disability Unit), presented an introduction to the new European Disability Strategy 2010-2020, currently in preparation. New factors shaping the strategy are: the enlargedEU; the UN Convention on the Rights of persons with disabilities, bringing with it an increased focus on rights; stronger NGOs and increased evidence of problems of persons with disabilities.

Presentation Inmaculada Placencia Porrero:

Powerpoint (ppt 100 kB)
Handout (pdf 22 kB)

In preparation for the new European disability strategy the Commission has analysed the UN Convention to clarify its obligations and identify potential actions and responsible services in EC.  The Commission also considered the Action Plan of the Council of Europe and carried out an evaluation of the current EU Disability Action Plan.

The  European Council has asked the Commission to consider assessing how national actions reflect the commitments made by the European Community and the Member States to fully implement the UN Convention at European level and considering setting consistent and comparable national targets to that end, and ANED’s compilation of statistics framework and assessment of indicators that were presented at the annual meeting were considered to be a promising start of the work on the enormous challenge to define and quantify the most suitable indicators  needed for the measurement of progress towards attaining such targets.

Other presentations during the annual meeting: