Social Policy : Commission Set to Sign Un Convention on Disabilities

Article excerpt

The European Commission has made a proposal for signing, in the name of the Community, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the optional Protocol. These two texts, negotiated within a special committee, were adopted by the UN General Assembly on 13 December 2006. They will open for signature in New York on 30 March 2007. Several EU member states have already announced their intention to sign these texts. But other states, following the example of the Vatican, could refuse the text because of its provisions relating to family or health.

"The provisions of the Convention and the Protocol conform to the Community legislation in force," asserts the Commission. Thus, disability is defined "in the light of a series of criteria which reflect both the social model of disability and the recent EU Court of Justice law relating to the definition of disability" (Case C-13/05). Besides the principle of non-discrimination and the assertion of basic rights, this text lays down a whole range of provisions concerning the right to free movement, nationality, autonomy of life, inclusion in society, freedom of expression, respect for private life, home and family life, health,education and employment.

SENSITIVE PROVISIONS

Some provisions are more sensitive. …