Chapter 2 The EU disability strategy and the future of EU disability policy
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Recent decades have seen the emergence of disability as an important area of social policy within the European Union (EU). This chapter will consider the development of European disability policy from the 1970s, charting the evolution of policy that was rooted in the charity and medical models of disability to a human rights-based approach. This chapter critically considers the different iterations of EU Disability Strategies: from the ‘Equality of Opportunity for People with Disabilities: A New European Community Disability Strategy’ (1996) and the EU Disability Action Plan 2003-2010 to the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020. Social policy-oriented and rights-based approaches to disability policy and the EU’s accession to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) are also examined. Furthermore, this chapter explores how the CRPD will shape the next EU Disability Strategy and impact on disability policy.

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