Renew Europe asks for full integration of people with disabilities in the labour market
By Linda Aziz-Rohlje
On today’s labour market, only half of our citizens with disabilities in the European Union are in employment, far below the employment rate for those without disabilities. The Renew Europe Group in the European Parliament strongly regrets that people with disabilities continue to be overwhelmingly excluded from the labour market and thus denied their right to engage in work on an equal basis with others and believes this must change.
- “It is high time for Europe to create equal access and opportunity so that everyone, no matter if you are blind, suffer from hearing loss or are unable to walk, can still contribute to our common welfare and be a productive member of society”, says Dragoș Pîslaru, Renew Europe Coordinator of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee.
Mr Pîslaru is working intensely with colleagues in Renew Europe to ensure that people with disabilities can experience full social and economic inclusion and live free from discrimination.
“Investments made by governments and companies in accessibility features to integrate persons with various disabilities, giving them equal working conditions to their colleagues, must never be considered an expenditure. On the contrary, it means opening themselves up to new, talented and very motivated employees, enabling them to shift from needing welfare to generating welfare and given the opportunities in creating their own lives, that we all have the right to”, says MEP Dragoș Pîslaru.
Another leading MEP on the matter is Radka Maxová who represented the group in the drafting of the Parliament’s own initiative report on the EU employment equality directive and its compliance with the UNCRPD which was debated and voted in plenary this week. In the report, she ensured that Parliament calls for better workplace facilities and equal working conditions for persons with disabilities and also calls on Member States to ensure employers make reasonable adjustments for employees with disabilities in the workplace.
“ The European institutions and the Member States’ public administrations should lead by example in this area and put in place appropriate measures to comply with the UN Convention, including by setting binding diversity rules for the recruitment and employment of people with all types of disabilities at all levels”, says Radka Maxová.
· Renew Europe calls for a swift implementation of the new EU Disability Rights Strategy, presented by the European Commission.
· Renew Europe’s commitment to ensure the rights of persons with disabilities.