The European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD) has released a new report on the European Semester, highlighting shortcomings in the European Union’s growth model, which in its present state does not sufficiently take into account the wellbeing of Europe’s citizens. Austerity measures have been adopted in numerous Member States under the assurance that budgetary deficits would be depleted, generating healthy economic growth. Equally, changes in employment policy were justified by the same principle of ‘growth at all costs.’ But the tactic has largely failed, and moreover, has been implemented at the price of great hardship amongst Europe’s citizens – particularly those most marginalised and excluded.
The report thus calls for a change to the ‘growth at all costs’ approach adopted by European policy-makers – an absolute must in order to achieve the Europe 2020 strategy, and to improve the wellbeing of Europe’s citizens with disabilities, through the provision of high quality service systems. Luk Zelderloo, Secretary General of EASPD, confirms this intention by stating that “the report makes a number of recommendations to policy-makers concerning how to re-integrate citizen wellbeing into European and national public policy, in a manner that is both practical and sustainable”.
As well as commenting on European policy-making as a whole, the report presents the key challenges faced by service providers for persons with disabilities in nearly all EU countries, with particular emphasis on employment, inclusive education, and social affairs. Finally, the report compiles national perspectives from EASPD members in six European countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Finland, Hungary, Ireland and Romania. These mini-reports underline a number of necessary national policy changes, they deem vital to the improvement in wellbeing of persons with disabilities in their own respective countries. We hope this will elucidate practical solutions and provide useful input to Policy-makers at both national and European level.
Link to Report and additional information
- EASPD Report: Europe 2020 and the European Semester, Bringing Wellbeing to All
- EASPD Briefing on the European Semester
- Semester Alliance: Toolkit on the European Semester.