Over the last three months, Autism-Europe has taken part in two public hearings organised by the European Disability Forum and the Economic and Social Committee (EESC), aiming to gather the views from organisations of persons with disabilities, civil society, equality bodies, and EU institutions. Representatives from UN agencies, as well as the European Parliament, the European Ombudsman and the Fundamental Rights Agency, as members of the EU Monitoring Framework, also took part.
The discussion focused on the UN’s recommendations to the EU and in particular on the three urgent recommendations to which the EU had to respond within a year, namely:
- The completion and update of the EU Declaration of Competences and the list of instruments that are related to the rights of persons with disabilities;
- The adoption of the European Accessibility Act in line with the CRPD. The European Commission has issued the Proposal of the Act, which is now discussed at the European Parliament and the EU Council;
- Ensuring the necessary resources of the EU Monitoring Framework so that it can deliver the tasks of promoting, protecting and monitoring the CRPD. The UN Committee had also requested for the removal of the European Commission from the Framework in order to ensure its independence. Following this recommendation, the European Commission withdrew itself from the Framework.
On both occasion, Autism-Europe called for full attention to be given to the needs of people on the autism spectrum, for example within the upcoming European accessibility Directive. Autism-Europe also called notably for the European Union to comply with its obligations related to the right to inclusive quality education, including in European Schools.