From Rome to Nice in a Wheelchair: The Development of a European Disability Policy
This text represents a lecture on the overview of the steps taken by the European Union to develop a policy relating to disability and disabled people. Initiatives in the period prior to the adoption of the Amsterdam Treaty were characterized by limited action programs and a lack of binding policy measures. The inclusion in the EC Treaty of Article 13‚??which provides for the adoption of measures to address disability discrimination, the mobilization of an active disability movement, and the recognition of a new social model of disability‚??have resulted in significant developments from the mid-1990s onward. The most important legal development has been the adoption of the Framework Employment Directive in 2000, which prohibits employment related discrimination on the grounds of disability and requires that reasonable accommodations be made for disabled people. The impact of this provision in a number of Member States is considered and the author reflects on possible ways forward for the EU disability policy.
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