Council Resolution of 17 June 1999 on equal employment opportunities for people with disabilities
OJ C 186, 2.7.1999, p. 3–4 (ES, DA, DE, EL, EN, FR, IT, NL, PT, FI, SV)
DA DE EL EN ES FI FR IT NL PT SV
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of 17 June 1999
on equal employment opportunities for people with disabilities
THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,
Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community,
(1) an essential objective of the Community, as identified in the coordinatedEuropean employment strategy, is to promote a high level of employment;
(2) in the 1999 employment guidelines(1), guideline 9 acknowledges the need forthe Member States to "give special attention to the needs of the disabled,ethnic minorities and other groups and individuals who may be disadvantaged,and develop appropriate forms of preventive and active policies to promotetheir integration into the labour market";
(3) in its recommendation of 24 July 1986(2), the Council recognised the keyissues of the integration of people with disabilities in vocational trainingand employment;
(4) the Community Charter on the fundamental social rights of workers of 9December 1989 stipulates in point 26: "All disabled persons, whatever theorigin and nature of their disability, must be entitled to additional concretemeasures aimed at improving their social and professional integration. Thesemeasures must concern, in particular, according to the capacities of thebeneficiaries, vocational training, ergonomics, accessibility, mobility, meansof transport and housing.";
(5) in their resolution of 20 December 1996 on equality of opportunity forpeople with disabilities(3), the Council and the representatives of theGovernments of the Member States meeting within the Council reaffirmed theircommitment to the principle of equality of opportunity in the development ofcomprehensive policies in the field of disability;
(6) the Commission of the European Communities formulated fundamental policyissues concerning the disabled and employment in a document of 22 September1998 entitled "Raising employment levels of people with disabilities - thecommon challenge", taking into account the European employment strategy and theanalysis of some key elements of the 1998 national action plans; the Commissionalso concluded that there must be a move away from piecemeal initiatives andthat a coordinated strategy must be established;
(7) in order to establish equal opportunities for people with disabilities withregard to securing, retaining and advancing in employment,
- Convention 159 and Recommendation 168 of the International LabourOrganisation concerning vocational rehabilitation and employment (disabledpersons) of 20 June 1983,
- the Council of Europe Recommendation No R(92) 6 of 9 April 1992 for acoherent policy for disabled people, and
- the standard rules on the equalisation of opportunities for persons withdisabilities which were adopted in a United Nations General Assembly resolutionon 20 December 1993,
call upon the Member States to develop, evaluate and review support programmesfor the integration of people with disabilities in various ways, in particularin the field of employment;
(8) people with disabilities, despite individual successes and improvements,are still more likely to face barriers and disadvantages in finding andmaintaining suitable employment and in fully participating in the economic andsocial life of their communities,
HEREBY ADOPTS THIS RESOLUTION:
1. The Council acknowledges and welcomes the serious efforts made and plannedby the Member States to develop and implement policies aimed at integratingpeople with disabilities into the labour market, in particular withintheframework of the European employment strategy; it welcomes equally the newimpetus by the annual employment guidelines.
2. The Council underlines that the national action plans for employment providea comprehensive platform within which the abovementioned policies should bestrengthened. Member States are therefore called upon:
(a) within the framework of their national employment policies, and incooperation with the social partners and non-governmental organisations forpeople with disabilities, to place particular emphasis on the promotion ofemployment opportunities for people with disabilities and to develop suitablepreventive and active policies for the specific promotion of their integrationinto the labour market in the private sector, including self-employment, and inthe public sector,
(b) to make full use of the existing and future possibilities of the EuropeanStructural Funds, in particular the European Social Fund, and relevantCommunity initiatives, to promote equal employment opportunities for peoplewith disabilities,
(c) also in the above context, to attach particular attention to thepossibilities offered by the development of the information society for openingnew employment opportunities but also challenges for people with disabilities.
3. The Council welcomes the initiative of the social partners at European levelto identify good practices and invites the social partners at all levels toplay an increasing role in creating improved employment opportunities andnegotiated work organisation changes in cooperation with people withdisabilities.
4. The Council invites people with disabilities themselves and theirorganisations to make their contribution towards the goal of equal employmentopportunities by sharing and exchanging their experience with all thoseinvolved in the labour market.
5. The Council encourages the Community Institutions to promote equalemployment opportunities for people with disabilities within their ownservices, by enacting rules while taking full advantage of existing legalinstruments and practices.
6. The Council calls upon the Commission to work together with the MemberStates, in particular within the framework of the European employmentguidelines and in accordance with the mainstreaming principle, to monitor andanalyse the development of the employment of people with disabilities on thebasis of comparable data and to develop new strategies and campaigns, takinginto consideration national, regional and local differences.
7. The Council affirms that, in the framework of a coherent global policy,equal employment opportunities for people with disabilities will be enhanced ifspecific attention is given to recruitment and retention of employees,promotion, training, life-long learning and development, and protection againstunfair dismissal, and appropriate support provided in areas such as:
- workplace accommodation, such as technical equipment including access to newinformation and communication technologies,
- access to the place of work,
- qualifications and skills required at work, and
- access to vocational guidance and placement services.
8. The Council notes the Commission's intention to make a proposal for a legalinstrument covering equal employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
(1) OJ C 69, 12.3.1999, p. 2.
(2) OJ L 225, 12.8.1986, p. 43.
(3) OJ C 12, 13.1.1997, p. 1.