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Towards a EU Strategy for autism

In September 2015, the European Parliament has officially adopted the Written Declaration on Autism, co-signed by 418 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). The document calls on the European Union and its Member States to adopt a European strategy for autism.

This Written Declaration calls on the European Union and its Member States to adopt a European strategy for autism that will:

  • Support accurate detection and diagnosis across Europe
  • Promote evidence-based treatment and support for all ages
  • Foster research and prevalence studies
  • Encourage the exchange of best practices

What is a Written Declaration of the European Parliament?

A written declaration of the European Parliament is a principled document that gives direction to the institutions of the European Union and EU Member States. For example, in 1996, the European Parliament adopted a written declaration called the ‘Charter for Persons with Autism’, which was drafted by Autism-Europe. Many Autism-Europe members have used this charter to advocate for improvements in support for people with autism at national level. Written declarations of the European Parliament do not, however, call for any legislative action and are not enforceable by the institutions of the European Union.

A conference in the European Parliament on the call for a European Strategy for autism

Following the endorsement by 418 MEPs of the Written Declaration on autism, a conference was held in the European Parliament on 29 September 2015. It was co-chaired by MEP Nicola CaputoMEP Marek Plura (co-signatory and co-President of the disability intergroup) and MEP Miriam Dalli (co-signatory). The panel involved autism representatives and experts, as well as key representatives from the European commission.