The Irish Freedom Drivers are continuing to put pressure on the Irish Government to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities and have met with the Minister of State with responsibility for Disability, Kathleen Lynch, and have raised this matter directly with her.
The Irish MEPs have been supportive and through them a number of questions have now been formally put to the European Commission. These include:
“In Article 33.2 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities it states that:
“States Parties shall, in accordance with their legal and administrative systems, maintain, strengthen, designate or establish within the State Party, a framework, including one or more independent mechanisms, as appropriate, to promote, protect and monitor implementation of the present Convention. When designating or establishing such a mechanism, States Parties shall take into account the principles relating to the status and functioning of national institutions for protection and promotion of human rights.”
What measures does the Commission have in place to ensure the continued funding and promotion of national mobility projects in Member states in accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the EU Disability strategy?
- Does the Commission have any plans to propose legislation that will protect the rights of persons with disabilities in care in institutions?
- What measures are in place to ensure the highest quality of care for EU citizens resident in these institutions?
- Does the Commission plan to provide additional sustainable funding concerning the operation of these institutions?
- Can the Commission outline details of funding available to voluntary organisations and NGO’s representing the needs of persons with disabilities?
- Does the Commission have any plans to propose further legislation facilitating the free movement of persons with disabilities within the Union?
- Does the Commission propose to harmonise the Personal Assistance Service (PAS) between Member States to ensure the free movement of persons with disabilities?
- Can the Commission give the details of funding for the Europe for Citizens Programme since 2007?
- Has the funding been reduced in recent years?
- Can the Commission give the details of the criteria to evaluate applications for funding from the Europe for Citizens Programme?
- Has the criteria used changed over the last number of years?
- Could this account for a proposal that has previously received funding being turned down in 2011, or are there other reasons that would explain that?
– Mr. Liam Aylward MEP submitted the below representation on behalf of the Irish Freedom Drivers to the Ádám Kósa Report on Mobility and inclusion of people with disabilities
“I recently met with a number of Irish members of the Centre of Independent Living who were in Strasbourg as part of their annual Freedom Drive. This group brought a number of issues to the attention of MEPs regarding the difficulties that face European citizens with disability. Key among these issues was the barriers that are in place preventing citizens with disabilities the free movement that all European citizens are purported to enjoy.
I voted to support this important report but it is important to highlight that it is the transferability of the Personal Assistance Service that is fundamental to increasing the freedom of movement of citizens with disabilities.
At present the service of Personal Assistance is not transferable and many citizens who move Member State to take up employment or for personal reasons do so without the service that they are entirely reliant for their day to day actions and have to reapply in their new Member State with no guarantee of success.
It would be in the interests of all citizens that the Commission and Member States work together to allow this service to be transferable facilitating true mobility of people with disabilities within the EU.”
Contributed by Gary Lee, CIL Carmichael House