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Document 52001PC0271

Proposal for a Council Decision on the European Year of People with Disabilities 2003

/* COM/2001/0271 final - CNS 2001/0116 */

OJ C 240E , 28.8.2001, p. 160–164 (ES, DA, DE, EL, EN, FR, IT, NL, PT, FI, SV)

52001PC0271

Proposal for a Council Decision On the European Year of People with Disabilities 2003 /* COM/2001/0271 final - CNS 2001/0116 */

Official Journal 240 E , 28/08/2001 P. 0160 - 0164


Proposal for a COUNCIL DECISION On the European Year of People with Disabilities 2003

(presented by the Commission)

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

1. THE DISABILITY CHALLENGE

Approximately 38 million people, one in 10 Europeans of all ages, have a disability. Throughout the Union, people with disabilities face barriers not only in finding and keeping a job but also in finding accessible transportation, physically accessing buildings and facilities or gaining access to education and any training needed for a job. In addition, they also face barriers in gaining access to the technologies that would help them to become more fully involved both at work and in society at large. Other barriers do affect the freedom of disabled european citizens to move within the Union and to reside in another Member State of their choice. All these barriers too often prevent people with disabilities from playing a full part in society and in the workplace. As a result, Europeans with disabilities are less likely to have a job or a business than people without a disability. According to the European Household Community Panel (1996), for people aged 16 to 64 without a disability, the likelihood of having a job or a business is 66 %. For people with a non-severe disability, the rate is 47 %. The rate drops to 25 % for those with a severe disability.

The situation is particularly difficult for those who are doubly affected, namely people with disabilities who are also members of other groups in our society facing barriers: the elderly disabled, women with disabilities and people with disabilities who come from ethnic minorities .

Achieving equal opportunities for people with disabilities calls for a multi-pronged strategy involving inter alia, combating discrimination, facilitating independent living, promoting greater social integration, enhancing the opportunities for education, training, lifelong learning and employment and increasing the availability and quality of care and assistive technologies. This is a significant challenge, the solution to which will involve a number of measures at national and Community level. Moreover, among the primary obstacles facing people with disabilities are the negative and disabling attitudes projected by society. Despite noticeable progress, assumptions about what it means to have a disability remain deeply entrenched in educational, social and cultural practices. As a result, opportunities for education, for social involvement, for nurturing self-esteem and for skill development are often restricted for people with disabilities. Much work needs to be done to change attitudes that stereotype people with disabilities in society. The potential that people with disabilities have will otherwise not be realised and the input which they can make to society not fully exploited.

2. TOWARDS FULL CITIZENSHIP

Over the past decade, people with disabilities' organisations all over the world have been working to reposition disability within a broader framework of human rights and citizenship. Disability policy today is moving towards a standpoint which no longer sees the physical or mental limitations of an individual as the primary problem, preferring to focus on that person's potential for social and labour-market participation and on a respect for their human rights. Hence, citizenship for people with disabilities is now understood as a commitment by governments that people with disabilities will not suffer discrimination or marginalisation and this commitment must be given an appropriate legal embodiment in the form of enforceable anti-discrimination legislation. Citizenship also commits all levels of government, including the European Union, to develop and implement programmes and policies to help all citizens to become an effective part of the economic and social mainstream.

This new approach has taken shape within an international context which, in 1993, saw the adoption of the UN Standard Rules on the Equalisation of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities. This approach to disability was then formally endorsed in 1996 by the Council as a blueprint for the Union's disability policy in its Resolution of 20 December 1996 on Equality of Opportunity for People with Disabilities [1].

[1] OJ C 186, 2.7.1999, p. 3

The human-rights-based approach to disability has subsequently been underpinned in the Amsterdam Treaty. Under Article 13 of the new Treaty, the Union now has the power to combat discrimination on grounds of sex, religion or belief, race, age, sexual orientation and disability. Using Article 13 as a starting point, the Council adopted on 27 November 2000 a comprehensive anti-discrimination package comprising a Directive establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation [2] and a Community action programme to combat discrimination (2001-2006) [3].

[2] OJ L 303, 2.12.2000, p. 16

[3] OJ L 303, 2.12.2000, p. 23

The Directive provides a legislative framework for legally enforceable employment rights, including provisions on a number of key issues such as protection against harassment, scope for positive action, appropriate remedies and enforcement measures. More importantly, the directive also adopts the duty of reasonable accommodation, which implies the adjustment of the workplace to meet the needs of a person with a disability. The action programme to combat discrimination provides for support measures to supplement the practical action which is needed to reach out to people and help change discriminatory attitudes and behaviour on the ground. It will enable the Community to study discrimination and the effectiveness of the methods used to tackle it and will also support co-operation between Governments, NGOs, local and regional authorities, research institutes and the social partners.

The fulfilment of the commitment to citizenship also requires the European Union to include people with disabilities and a concern for their rights and needs in all its relevant mainstream activities and programmes. With this aim in view, the Commission adopted on 12 May 2000 a Communication "Towards a Barrier-free Europe for People with Disabilities" [4], in which it commits itself to developing and supporting a comprehensive and integrated strategy to tackle social, architectural and design barriers that unnecessarily restrict access for people with disabilities to social and economic opportunities.

[4] COM(2000)284final

Parallel positive developments can be seen at Member State level, where progress has also been achieved not only in terms of the updating of existing laws and the passing of new ones, but first and foremost by bringing in new approaches, measures and methods and establishing new rights.

3. PURPOSE OF THE EUROPEAN YEAR OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

Despite the progress achieved to date, much scope for improvement still remains. Even the most carefully drafted legislation will prove inadequate if the political will is not sustained enough to translate it into long-term action and if it does not enjoy broad popular support. If the commitment to equal opportunities for people with disabilities is to be upheld, a more co-ordinated effort to promote a greater understanding of disability is required. Attitudes do not change automatically or spontaneously. It is a complex process which requires co-ordinated and integrated policies at all levels of society in order to raise awareness and remove social and environmental barriers while at the same time enabling people with disabilities to become involved.

Whilst the basic responsibility for this lies with Member States, it is clear that the European Union could provide both the impulse and a framework which would make the achievement of these goals easier. A concerted pan-European platform has the potential to attract considerable attention to a citizenship issue, at both the European and national levels, and to stimulate activity that otherwise might not have taken place. Moreover, the European Year could lay the foundations for further, sustainable progress, by informing and educating people and paving the way for new legal and policy developments.

The objectives of the European Year of People with Disabilities will therefore be:

(1) to raise awareness of the right of people with disabilities to protection against discrimination and to full and equale enjoyment of their rights as laid down, inter alia, in the provisions of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union;

(2) to encourage reflection on and discussion of the measures required to promote equal opportunities for people with disabilities in Europe;

(3) to promote the exchange of experience regarding good practice and effective strategies devised at local, national and European level;

(4) to boost co-operation between all stakeholders - government at all levels, the private sector, communities, social partners, research, voluntary sector groups, people with disabilities and their families;

(5) to highlight the positive contribution that people with disabilities make to society as a whole, in particular by putting a value on diversity and by creating a positive and accommodating environment in which diversity is celebrated;

(6) to make people aware of the heterogeneity of people with disabilities and of people with disabilities facing multiple discrimination.

The measures designed to meet these objectives may include:

* the organisation of meetings and events, including the opening and closing conferences;

* information and promotional campaigns including the production of tools and aids accessible to people with disabilities throughout the Community;

* cooperation with the media ;

* surveys and reports;

* events to provide information, in particular information on examples of good practice;

* financial support for initiatives at transnational, national, regional and local level, to promote the objectives of the European Year of People with Disabilities.

Details of these measures are set out in the Annex.

The proposed budget for the European Year of People with Disabilities is limited. Subject to the final decision of the budget authority a total of just EUR 12 million is being set aside at European level for 2002- 2003 . This budget will serve to stimulate wide-ranging action and involvement, and will be complemented by other Commission and national initiatives. Consequently, the success of the European Year will depend first and foremost on the willingness and ability of players at local, regional and national level to contribute actively to the mobilisation of individual citizens and organisations across the European Union.

In co-operation with organisations that are experts in the field of communication, the Commission will finance and manage a coherent promotional campaign that will use all available media.

Without prejudice to the regulatory framework, the Commission will seek to organise in a structured manner regular exchanges of views with the disability community and the representative NGOs on the implementation of the Year.

The evaluation carried out in 2004 will allow the actual impact of the Year to be assessed and the lessons for the future to be learnt.

The Year will be consistent with and complementary to other Community action in particular the anti-discrimination programme and other actions to combat discrimination, social exclusion and to promote gender equality. The Commission will also aim to mainstream the disability issues into all relevant European events scheduled to take place during the year 2003. Moreover, as part of other relevant Community action, the Commission will seek to contribute to the objectives of the Year, not only on the basis of the ongoing work already in progress under these programmes, but also through initiatives adopted specifically for the European Year.

Finally, the Commission will also implement the Year and closely coordinate its activities with those undertaken by other international organisations such as the Council of Europe.

4. WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP TOWARDS EFFECTING A CHANGE OF ATTITUDE

In order to be effective and produce sustained and tangible results, the European Year of People with Disabilities should build upon a commitment given by all relevant parties actively to support the Year. Whilst the European Union can provide a framework for action to promote an awareness of the rights of people with disabilities, tangible progress will be achieved through the significant involvement of Member States at national level. Recent best practices in Member States provide numerous examples which could be followed or pursued as their contribution to the Year, ensuring the participation of all relevant actors, in particular disability organisations by, for example:

* Establishing a task force which includes representatives of the Government, of people with disabilities' organisations and of other important segments of civil society;

* Convening a broad-based national forum to heighten awareness, to mobilise and to obtain input and long-term commitment to the European Year. Such a forum could review the national disability situation, draw up a long-term policy statement and agree on strategic goals. Participants could include representatives of selected ministries, the national co-ordinating committee, organisations of disabled persons, professionals, citizens groups, communities and families. It could involve legislators, the business community, and representatives of the EU agencies or bodies;

* Drawing up or updating a long-term policy statement in line with the principles of equal citizenship which would incorporate overall objectives and essential principles and constitute the conceptual framework of the European year at national level;

* Building a comprehensive knowledge base by working with government, with research bodies and with the disability community to launch a research agenda aimed at ensuring the availability of data and an accurate picture of the living and working conditions faced by persons with disabilities ;

* Strengthening the organisations of people with disabilities, particularly their resource base, organisational skills and participation in decision-making :

* Establishing broad partnerships, including non-traditional partners such as the education sector, the media, the business sector, religious and civil sectors, and sports and leisure organisations ;

* Decentralising the organisation of activities, in order to ensure that measures are targeted and that they have a sustainable local expertise base.

Accession and EFTA/EEA countries should be invited to consider giving the same undertaking in active support of the Year.

5. CONCLUSION

Over the past few years the European Union has devoted considerable attention to promoting the rights of people with disabilities. Despite progress to date, a major effort is still needed to change basic attitudes towards people with disabilities. The work of informing and raising the awareness of all citizens must be stepped up to achieve a greater understanding of the rights of disabled citizens. Along with a comprehensive legislative framework, public awareness is needed to back up legislation and to increase understanding and acceptance of people with disabilities's needs and rights in society. As a catalyst for social change, the European Year of People with Disabilities can create a "snowball" effect and in a meaningful way help to develop processes that could continue after the Year is formally over.

Making citizenship a reality will require the involvement of all Europeans and the support and co-operation of all of the partners, government at all levels, business, trade unions, the voluntary sector, persons with disabilities and their families. Whilst governments at all levels can help by providing leadership, expertise and resources, everyone must become involved if we are to succeed in opening up opportunities and dismantling barriers for everybody in Europe.

2001/0116(CNS)

Proposal for a COUNCIL DECISION On the European Year of People with Disabilities 2003 (Text with EEA relevance)

THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 13 thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission [5],

[5] OJ...

Having regard to the opinion of the European Parliament [6],

[6] OJ...

Having regard to the opinion of the Economic and Social Committee [7],

[7] OJ...

Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions [8],

[8] OJ...

Whereas:

(1) The promotion of a high level of employment and social protection, and raising the standard of living and quality of life among Member States are aims of the Community.

(2) The Community Charter of the Fundamental Social Rights of Workers recognises the need to take appropriate action for the social and economic integration of people with disabilities.

(3) The Resolution of the Council and of representatives of the Governments of Member States meeting within the Council of 20 December 1996 on equality of opportunity for people with disabilities [9], and the Resolution of the Council of 17 June 1999 on equal employment opportunities for people with disabilities [10], reaffirm the basic human rights of people with disabilities to equal access to social and economic opportunities.

[9] OJ C 12, 13.1.1997

[10] OJ C 186, 2.7.1999, p. 3

(4) The Conclusions of the Lisbon European Council of 23 and 24 March 2000 call upon Member States to take greater account of social exclusion in their employment, education and training, health and housing policies and to define priority actions for specific target groups, such as people with disabilities.

(5) The European Social Agenda adopted at the Nice European Council Meeting of 7, 8, 9 December 2000 states that the European Union will develop, in particular during the European Year of People with Disabilities (2003), all action intended to bring about the fuller integration of people with disabilities in all areas of life.

(6) This decision respects the fundamental rights and observes the principles recognised in particular by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union as general principles of Community law. In particular, this decision seeks to ensure full respect for the right of persons with disabilities to benefit from measures designed to ensure their independence, social and occupational integration and participation in the life of the community and to promote the application of the non discrimination principle (Article 26 and Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union [11]).

[11] OJ C 364, 18.12.2000, pp. 1-22

(7) The European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions have all urged the Community to strengthen its contribution to efforts in Member States to promote equal opportunities for people with disabilities.

(8) The general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation provided for by Council Directive 2000/78/EC [12] and the Community programme to support and supplement legislative measures at Community and Member State level set up by Council Decision 2000/750/EC [13], aim at changing practices and attitudes by mobilising the players involved and fostering the exchange of information and good practice.

[12] OJ L 303, 2.12.2000, p. 16

[13] OJ L 303, 2.12.2000, p. 23

(9) Since exclusion from the labour-market of people with disabilities is inextricably linked to problems of attitude and a lack of information about disability, it is necessary to increase society's understanding of the rights, needs and potential of disabled persons, and a joint effort by all the different partners is required to develop and promote a flow of information.

(10) Raising awareness relies primarily on effective action at Member State level. Action should be supplemented by concerted efforts at Communitylevel and the European Year could act as a catalyst in raising awareness and in building momentum;

(11) Consistency and complementarity with other Community action is needed, in particular with action to combat discrimination and social exclusion, and to promote human rights, education, training and gender equality.

(12) The Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA Agreement) provides for greater co-operation in the social field between the European Community and its Member States, on the one hand, and the countries of the European Free Trade Association participating in the European Economic Area (EFTA/EEA), on the other.Provision should be made to open this programme to participation by the candidate countries of Central and Eastern Europe, in accordance with the conditions established in the Europe Agreements, in their additional protocols and in the decisions of the respective Association Councils, to Cyprus and Malta, funded by additional appropriations in accordance with the procedures to be agreed with those countries, as well as to Turkey, funded by additional appropriations in accordance with the procedures to be agreed with that country.

(13) In accordance with the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality as defined in Article 5 of the Treaty, the objectives of the proposed action aimed at generating at Community level awareness of the rights of people with disabilities cannot be adequately achieved by the Member States because, inter alia, of the Community-wide dimension of the issue, the need for multilateral partnerships, the transnational exchange of information and the Community-wide dissemination of good practice. This Decision does not go beyond what is necessary to achieve those objectives.

(14) In accordance with Article 2 of Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999 laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission [14],measures for the implementation of this Decision should be adopted by use of the advisory procedure provided for in Article 3 of that Decision,

[14] OJ L 184, 17.07.1999, p. 23

HAS DECIDED AS FOLLOWS:

Article 1 Establishment of the European Year of People with Disabilities

The year 2003 shall be designated as the 'European Year of People with Disabilities`.

Article 2 Objectives

The objectives of the European Year of People with Disabilities shall be:

(a) to raise awareness of the rights of people with disabilities to protection against discrimination and to full and equalenjoyment of their rights as laid down, inter alia, in the provisions of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union;

(b) to encourage reflection on and discussion of the measures needed to promote equal opportunities for people with disabilities in Europe;

(c) to promote the exchange of experience of good practice and effective strategies devised at local, national and European level;

(d) to reinforce the co-operation between all parties concerned, namely government at all levels, the private sector, communities, voluntary sector groups, people with disabilities and their families;

(e) to highlight the positive contribution that people with disabilities make to society as a whole, in particular by putting a value on diversity and by creating a positive and accommodating environment in which diversity is celebrated;

(f) to make people aware of the heterogeneity of people with disabilities and of people with disabilities facing multiple discrimination.

Article 3 Content of measures

1. The measures designed to meet the objectives set out in Article 2 shall entail the development of or the provision of support to:

(a) meetings and events;

(b) information and promotional campaigns involving the production of tools and aids accessible to people with disabilities throughout the Community;

(c) co-operation with broadcasting and media organisations ;

(d) surveys and studies on a Community-wide scale;

2. Details of the measures referred to in paragraph 1 are set out in the Annex.

Article 4 Implementation at Community level

The Commission shall ensure the implementation of the Community actions covered by this Decision in conformity with the Annex.

It shall conduct a regular exchange of views with representatives of people with disabilities at Community level on the design, implementation and follow-up of the European Year of the People with Disabilities. To that end, the Commission shall make the relevant information available to these representatives. The Commission shall inform the Committee established under Article 6(1) of their opinion.

Article 5 Cooperation and implementation at national level

1. Each Member State shall be responsible for the co-ordination and implementation at national level of the measures provided for in this Decision, including the selection of projects under Part B of the Annex.

To this end, each Member State shall establish or designate a national co-ordinating body or an equivalent administrative body to organise its participation in the European Year of People with Disabilities. This body shall ensure that it is representative of a range of organisations representing people with disabilities and other relevant stakeholders.

2. In accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 6(2), the Commission shall determine global grants which shall be allocated to the Member States to support actions at national, regional and local level. Global grants shall be awarded only to public-law bodies or bodies which have a public-service mission guaranteed by the Member States.

3. The procedure for the use of global grants shall be subject to an agreement between the Commission and the Member State concerned.

The procedure shall detail in particular, in compliance with the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities:

(a) the measures to be implemented ;

(b) the criteria for choosing beneficiaries ;

(c) the conditions and rates of assistance ;

(d) the arrangements for monitoring, evaluating and ensuring the financial control of the global grant.

Article 6 Committee

1. The Commission shall be assisted by a committee, composed of representatives of the Member States and chaired by the representative of the Commission..

2. Where reference is made to this paragraph, the advisory procedure laid down in Article3 of Decision 1999/468/EC shall apply, in compliance with Article 7 thereof.

Article 7 Financial arrangements

1. Measures which are Community-wide in nature, as described in Part A of the annex, may be subsidised up to 80% or give rise to procurement contracts financed from the general budget of the European Communities.

2. Measures which are local, regional, national, or transnational in nature, as described in Part B of the annex, may be co-financed from the general budget of the European Communities up to a maximum of 50% of the total cost.

Article 8 Application and selection procedure

1. Decisions on the financing and co-financing of measures under Article 7 (1) shall be adopted by the Commission in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 6(2). The Commission shall ensure a balanced distribution among the different fields of activity involved.

2. Requests for financial assistance for measures under Article 7 (2) shall be submitted to the Member States. On basis of the opinion expressed by the national co-ordinating bodies, Member States shall select beneficiaries and allocate financial assistance to the applicants selected in accordance with the procedures to be established under Article 5 (3).

Article 9 Consistency and complementarity

The Commission, in co-operation with the Member States, shall ensure consistency between the measures provided for in this Decision and other Community action and initiatives.

It shall also ensure optimal complementarity between the European Year of People with Disabilities and other existing Community, national and regional initiatives and resources, where these can contribute to fulfilling the objectives of the European Year of People with Disabilities.

Article 10 Participation by the EFTA/EEA countries, the associated countries of Central and Eastern Europe, Cyprus, Malta and Turkey.

The European Year of People with Disabilities shall be open to participation by the EFTA/EEA countries in accordance with the conditions established in the EEA Agreement.

The candidate countries of Central and Eastern Europe shall participate in accordance with the conditions established in the Europe Agreements, in their additional protocols and in the decisions of the respective Association Councils.

The participation of Cyprus, Malta and Turkey shall be funded by additional appropriations in accordance with procedures to be agreed with those countries.

Article 11 Budget

Actions aimed at preparing the launching of the European Year may be financed as from 1 January 2002.

Article 12 International cooperation

Within the framework of the European Year, the Commission may cooperate with relevant international organisations.

Article 13 Monitoring and evaluation

The Commission shall submit, by 31 December 2004 at the latest, a report to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on the implementation, results and overall assessment of the measures provided for in this Decision.

Article 14 Entry into force

This Decision shall be published in the Official Journal of the European Communities. It shall take effect on the day of its publication.

Done at Brussels,

For the Council

The President

ANNEX

1. Nature of the measures referred to in Article 3

(A) Community-wide action

1. Meetings and events:

(a) organisation of meetings at Community level;

(b) organisation of events to raise awareness of the rights of people with disabilities, including the conferences to open and close the Year;

2. Information and promotional campaigns involving:

a) the development of a logo and of slogans for the European Year of People with Disabilities, for use in connection with any activity linked to the Year;

b) an information campaign on a Community-wide scale;

c) the production of tools and aids accessible to people with disabilities throughout the Community;

(d) appropriate initiatives by European disability NGOs aimed at disseminating information on the Year tailored to the needs of people with specific disabilities and/or of people with disabilities facing multiple discrimination;

(e) the organisation of European competitions highlighting achievements and experiences on the themes of the European Year of People with Disabilities.

3. Other actions :

Cooperation with broadcasting and media organisations as partners for spreading the information about the Year, for using new tools allowing easier access to this information (such as voice subtitling for the hearing impaired and images description for the visually impaired), and to other programmes if possible and for improving communication about people with disabilities ;

Surveys and studies on a Community-wide scale, including a series of questions intended to assess the impact of the European Year of People with Disabilities, to be included in a Eurobarometer survey andan evaluation report on the effectiveness and impact of the European Year.

4. This funding may be in the form of:

- the direct purchase of goods and services, in particular in the field of communication, via open and/or restricted calls for tenders;

- the direct purchase of consultancy services, via open and/or restricted calls for tenders;

- subsidies allocated to cover the expenses of special events at European level to highlight and raise awareness of the Year; such funding shall not exceed 80 %.

(B) Nation level action

Action at local, regional, national or transnational level may qualify for financing from the Community budget up to a maximum of 50 % of the cost, depending on the nature and context of what is proposed. These may include:

1. Events connected with the objectives of the European Year of People with Disabilities, including an event to launch the Year;

2. Information campaigns and measures to disseminate examples of good practice, other than those described in Part 1(A) of this Annex;

3. The organisation of awards or competitions;

4. Surveys and studies other than those mentioned in 1(A) above;

(C) Action for which no financial aid from the Community budget is available

The Community will offer its moral support, including written authorisation to use the logo and other material associated with the European Year, for initiatives undertaken by public or private organisations, where those organisations can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Commission that the initiatives involved are or will be in progress during the year 2003 and are likely to contribute significantly to achieving one or more of the objectives of the European Year.

FINANCIAL STATEMENT

Policy area(s): Social affairs ; integration of people with disabilities

Activity(ies): Organisation of a European Year of People with Disabilities

Title of action: European Year of People with Disabilities 2003

1. Budget LINE(S) + HEADING(S)

New budget line B5-806 aimed at supporting activities carried out in the framework of the Year.

2. OVERALL FIGURES

2.1 Total allocation for action (Part B):

12 EUR million for commitment (of which 4 EUR million in 2002 and 8 EUR million in 2003).

2.2 Period of application:

1 January 2002 until 31 December 2003.

2.3 Overall multiannual estimate on expenditure:

a) Schedule of commitment appropriations/payment appropriations (financial intervention) (see point 6.1.1)

EUR million (to 3rd decimal place)

>TABLE POSITION>

b) Technical and administrative assistance and support expenditure

>TABLE POSITION>

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c) Overall financial impact of human resources and other administrative expenditure (see points 7.2 and 7.3)

>TABLE POSITION>

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2.4 Compatibility with the financial programming and the financial perspective

- |X| Proposal compatible with the existing financial programming

- | | This proposal will entail reprogramming of the relevant heading in the financial perspective

- | | This may entail application of the provisions of the Interinstitutional Agreement.

2.5 Financial impact on revenue:

- No financial implications (involves technical aspects regarding implementation of a measure)

3. BUDGET CHARACTERISTICS

>TABLE POSITION>

4. LEGAL BASIS

Article 13 of the Treaty establishing the European Community

Council Decision n°.../.../EC of ... on the European Year of People with Disabilities 2003.

5. DESCRIPTION AND GROUNDS

5.1 Need for Community intervention

5.1.1 Objectives pursued

Approximately 38 million people, one in 10 Europeans of all ages, have a disability. Throughout the Union, people with disabilities face barriers not only in finding and keeping a job but also in finding accessible transportation, physically accessing buildings and facilities or gaining access to education and any training needed for a job. In addition, they also face barriers in gaining access to the technologies that would help them to become more fully involved both at work and in society at large. Other barriers do affect the freedom of disabled European citizens to move within the Union and to reside in another Member State of their choice. All these barriers too often prevent people with disabilities from playing a full part in society and in the workplace. Moreover, among the primary obstacles facing people with disabilities are the negative and disabling attitudes projected by society. Much work needs to be done to change attitudes that stereotype people with disabilities in society. As a result, Europeans with disabilities are less likely to have a job or a business than people without a disability. According to the European Household Community Panel (1996), for people aged 16 to 64 without a disability, the likelihood of having a job or a business is 66 %. For people with a non-severe disability, the rate is 47 %. The rate drops to 25 % for those with a severe disability.

Changing attitudes to disability, on the part of governments and of the broader society, have to find practical expression through implementation of a range of policies designed to include people with disabilities in the wider society. Most influential of these policies are antidiscrimination rights and the empowerment of people with disabilities. Equally important is integration, which aims to enable people with disabilities to participate, where possible, in mainstream education, employment and recreation activities.

Through several Community programmes and resolutions, the European Union in the last twenty years has both responded to, and in turn contributed to, moving the policy emphasis on enhancing and protecting the rights of people with disabilities and providing opportunities for them to contribute to the wider society through modifications to mainstream services to increase their accessibility. The continuing challenge remains to translate these policy orientations into actuality.

Under Article 13 of the new Treaty, the European Union has reached a watershed in the development of its disability policy. Using Article 13 as a starting point, the Council adopted on 27 November 2000 a comprehensive anti-discrimination package comprising a Directive establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation [15] and a Community action programme to combat discrimination (2001-2006) [16]. However, much remains to be done. If the commitment to equalising opportunities for people with disabilities is to be upheld, a more co-ordinated effort based on a much greater understanding of disability will be required.

[15] OJ C 364, 18.12.2000, pp. 1-22

[16] OJ L 303, 2.12.2000, p. 16

It is believed that the establishment of a European Year of People with Disabilities has the potential to create a favourable socio-political environment for achieving further progress at European and national level. Accordingly, the objectives of the Year will be :

(1) to raise awareness of the rights of people with disabilities to protection against discrimination and to full and equal enjoyment of their rights as laid down, inter alia, in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union;

(2) to encourage reflection and discussion on measures required in order to promote equal opportunities for people with disabilities in Europe;

(3) to promote the exchange of experience on good practice and effective strategies devised at local, national and European level;

(4) to reinforce the co-operation between all stakeholders - government at all levels, the private sector, communities, voluntary sector groups, people with disabilities and their families;

(5) to highlight the positive contributions of people with disabilities to society as a whole, in particular by putting a value on diversity and by creating a positive and accommodating environment in which diversity is celebrated.

(6) to make people aware of the heterogeneity of people with disabilities and of people with disabilities facing multiple discrimination.

Examples of measurable progress expected from the Year include inter alia the starting of new policies and programmes aimed at promoting rights for people with disabilities and new supporting structures involving all stakeholders that can continue on after the Year is over.

5.1.2 Measures taken in connection with ex ante evaluation

a) The ex-ante evaluation was conducted by the Unit Integration of people with disabilities (EMPL E/4) in December 2000-January 2001. It was reviewed with the evaluation Unit (EMPL G/5).

Information was mainly gathered from within the Commission (evaluations on the European Year against Racism, on Helios II, on the European Year of Lifelong Learning) and from other sources such as several evaluations on the impact of the United Nations International Year of Disabled Persons in 1981.

b) The independent evaluation of the Helios II programme (1993-1996) pointed out that "the idea that disadvantage and discrimination are structural and social phenomena has not yet penetrated very far outside those directly involved in the disability field. Further work is required before it achieves wide scale acceptance, and the implications for this are fully realised". Therefore, the evaluation concluded that the EU "should assist Member States to safeguard the quality of life of people with a disability; and this should be endeavoured even in the context of stringent economic conditions and potential drastic changes in the ideology and practice of national welfare policies. To achieve this, "the Member states and the civil society at national level should be encouraged and, indeed, facilitated by the European Union to pull their resources together and utilise Community funding more effectively". The report also underlined the need for enhancing the rights of persons with a disability to influence policy by increasing their potential for self advocacy and for co-ordination at member state and European level, including the promotion of participative structures.

The evaluation report of the European Year against Racism pointed out that a successful European Year should serve as a starting point, by laying the foundation on which future long term action can be built. The key to such success consists in supplementing European-level dynamics with corresponding measures at Member-state level. The success of the European Year will thus depend first and foremost on the willingness and ability of partners at European and national level to contribute actively to the Year.

Furthermore, experience accumulated with some International Years suggest that it is critical to ensure the involvement of all stakeholders in the preparation and in the implementation of the Year.

The evaluation of the European Year of Lifelong learning (1996) stressed that despite the meagre budget allocated to the European Year - ECU 8 m - it succeeded in generating activities estimated at a value of some ECU 34 m. The national agencies received over 1.200 projects, of which the Commission selected 454 (national) projects; to these should be added 88 European projects and 10 media projects. This clearly demonstrates the interest aroused by European Years in general but also highlights the need for a significant administrative involvement of the Member States for managing and allocating the available resources.

5.1.3 Measures taken following ex post evaluation

Not applicable.

5.2 Actions envisaged and arrangements for budget intervention

Target population:

(a) the Disabled Citizen Year will be oriented towards communicating to the general public the various barriers faced by people with disabilities and the positive contribution of people with disabilities to society as a whole.

(b) More specifically, the European Year will also be targeted at groups in a position to effect change (e.g., community leaders, people with disabilities and their families, children, students, policy makers, administrative authorities, professionals); such could also cover disability awareness projects aimed at journalists and public broadcasters, the training of information service and media personnel on appropriate communications about people with disabilities. In that context, National Co-ordination Bodies will be set up at national level. This bodies will be made up of representatives of the relevant Ministries, of organisations of people with disabilities and of important segments of society and will be in charge of managing the Year in their own Member State.

Within this aim, information campaigns and materials will be differentiated according to which sub-group is being targeted.

Community-wide action

The Community will fund at up 100% any action undertaken on a Community-wide scale that falls within the three main categories:

- meetings and events, including, for example, the organisation of seminars at European level to increase transnational co-operation and the events to open and close the European Year of People with Disabilities;

- an information and promotional campaign to be managed by the Commission in co-operation with organisations with the necessary communication expertise or in a position to channel the information to relevant disability stakeholders. It includes, in particular, the design and promotion of a common logo and slogan for the European Year - the preparation and distribution of written and audio-visual material to stimulate public interest and the dissemination of information about the European Year;

- and surveys and studies of Community-wide significance for the purpose of raising awareness of the themes of the European Year and for evaluating the impact of the European Year.

This funding may take the form of:

- the direct purchase of goods and services, in particular in the field of communication, via open and/or restricted calls for tenders;

- the direct purchase of consultancy services, via open and/or restricted calls for tenders;

- subsidies allocated to cover the expenses of special events at European level to highlight and increase awareness of the Year. Such funding shall not exceed 80 %.

Nation level action

The Community will also finance, with grants at up to 50% of the total cost, the following types of action undertaken on a transnational, national, regional or local scale

- meetings and events,

- information campaigns and promotional measures,

- surveys and studies,

- any other action the aim of which reflects one or more of the objectives of the European Year and which would not be eligible for funding under existing Community programmes.

This co-funding will be distributed to Member States following a restricted call for proposals requesting Member States to submit a work programme drafted by each of the national co-ordination bodies and agreed by the Commission. These activities may include events to launch or close the Year;

Eligibility for funding

Only activities which do not receive funding from other budget lines will be eligible for funding.

5.3 Methods of implementation

At Community-level, the Year will be directly managed by the Commission. As requested, the Commission shall be assisted by an advisory committee, and shall have regular exchanges of views with Disability NGOs and other relevant parties.

A substantial part of the budget will be allocated to members States for initiatives at national/regional/local level ; such actions will be implemented under the auspices of a National Co-ordination Body on a basis of a work programme to be agreed upon by the Commission.

6. FINANCIAL IMPACT

6.1 Total financial impact on Part B - (over the entire programming period)

(The method of calculating the total amounts set out in the table below must be explained by the breakdown in Table 6.2. )

6.1.1 Financial intervention

Commitments in EUR million (to the 3rd decimal place)

>TABLE POSITION>

5.0.0.

6.2 Calculation of costs by measure envisaged in Part B (over the entire programming period) [17]

[17] For further information see a separate guidance paper

6.2.1 Community-wide measures

Such action will usually be prompted by the Commission in consultation with the Advisory Committee. Most action will be contracted out following calls for tender and fully financed from the Community budget. Other action will be supported by the Community budget up to 80% provided that it contributes significantly to achieving the objectives of the European Year.

- Meetings and events

It would be reasonable to expect that if the themes of the European Year are to become known to a majority of European citizens and remain in their consciousness, the Year should include at least five high-profile, Community-wide events at different locations throughout the Community - one each to mark the opening in Athens and closing in Rome of the Year and three thematic events at regular intervals in between (a Brussels-based event, financial contribution to a Ministerial Conference co-organised with the Council of Europe in Madrid, and the Special Olympics in Ireland, the latter being financed under another budget line).

Each event can be expected to cost at least EUR 300.000 once organisational costs and the reimbursement of expenses for a significant number of average participants invited by the Commission (about 250) are taken into account.

Sample cost-breakdown for such an event organised outside Brussels:

Travel costs (economy class or first-class train) for 250 invited participants:

250 x average EUR 500 = EUR 125.000

Subsistence costs:

250 x 2 nights x average EUR 140 = EUR 70.000

Costs of hiring venue, facilities, stands, technical equipment, refreshments ( 2 days), one official dinner etc = EUR 50.000

Subcontracting of conference organisation, invitations, travel arrangements, etc.

= EUR 16.000

Interpretation (2 days) = EUR 40.000

The first European event will be a launch event organised by the Greek ministry in Athens and it will need to be held very early in 2003. Given the preparation time necessary for events of this sort it will need to be financed entirely from the budget for the preparatory year 2002.

Some events are expected to cost more than EUR 300.000 given the high number of people to be conveyed, for example the closing conference.

2002 total approx. EUR 300.000 x 1 = EUR 0,300 million

2003 total approx. EUR 300.000 x 2 + EUR 400.000 x 1 = EUR 1,0 million

Estimated total finance necessary for Community-wide local events and meetings and launch conferences in each Member State: approx. 1,3 million,

EUR 0,3 million of this budget will need to be covered from the preparatory year 2002 budget and EUR 1,0 million from the main budget in 2003 itself.

- Community-wide information and promotional campaign

The elements of the Community-wide information and promotional campaign associated with the Year will include development of a logo and slogan(s), the production of awareness-raising tools and aids, co-operation with the media and the organisation of European competitions.

If the information and promotional campaign associated with the Year is to operate at a sustained level of intensity sufficient to reach, either directly or via the media, a majority of European citizens, it would be reasonable to estimate the likely value of the contract(s) with the external communication organisation(s) which will manage the principal part of the campaign at EUR 2,8 million. Indeed, the need to make all information and promotional material available in all Community languages will dramatically increase the budget earmarked for this measure.

If the Year is to achieve its objective, the information and promotional campaign's budget will have to be met from the preparatory budget in 2002 in order to secure the full involvement of all actors concerned with the drafting of the main messages as well as the smooth management of all administrative steps involved. The public will need to be prepared for the official launch of the Year and it will therefore need to be given very broad preparatory publicity from mid-2002 onwards. There will be significant costs in developing logo-slogans and audio-visual material which will need to be ready well before the end of 2002.

Community-wide promotional and information campaigns; 2,8 million as follows:

- Design and promotional items: EUR 500.000

- Strategic advice, media relations, design and production of information material for printed, audio-visual and electronic media, setting-up of a hot line, design and management of Internet site: EUR 1,2 million

- Organisation of competitions or events, promotion of the European Year of People with Disabilities at major European and international fairs, obtaining sponsorship and moral support: EUR 0,7 million

- Use of alternative channels able to address relevant disability stakeholders through peer counselling schemes: EUR 0,4 million

Total finance estimated necessary for Community-wide campaigns: approximately . EUR2,8 million to be covered from the preparatory year 2002 budget.

- Co-operation with broadcasting and media organisations:

Total finance estimated necessary : EUR 0,1 million to be covered from the preparatory year 2002 budget.

- Surveys and studies

Community-wide surveys and studies will be undertaken as part of the Year and kept to the minimum needed. They will be undertaken following calls for tenders by consultants with specialist knowledge and experience

A study by a high-level group on "The prospects for disability policy" will require EUR 0,2 million.

A study on "Free movement of people with disabilities" will require EUR 0,3 million.

In order to measure the impact of the Year on the general public, specific questions will be included in a Eurobarometer survey aimed at determining, for example, how many people heard about the Year, how many people thought that the Year helped them change their minds, etc. : EUR 50.000.

Total estimated cost of Community-level surveys and studies: EUR 0,55 million from the main budget.

6.2.2 Nation-wide action

While the European Union can provide a framework for action to promote awareness on the rights of people with disabilities, at the same time it must be recognised that much of the progress will have to be achieved by involving the Member States themselves in a major way.

Such action can be financed up to 50% from the Community budget. It will be designed to act in synergy with the Community-wide action described above, creating a structure whereby larger and smaller-scale measures will share the same objectives and contribute each other's success.

It will also be necessary, if a sufficiently high profile for the year is to be achieved, to organise launch events in all Member States except the one organising the Community-level launch event (see under Community-wide action), with finance provided by the Commission. The average Commission contribution to the organisational costs of these events is estimated at EUR 50.000 per Member State. All of this funding will need to be committed from the preparatory year budget, given that the national launch events will need to be prepared from mid-2002 onwards and held very early in 2003. The Community contribution to their funding will largely take the form of advance payments.

2002 total approx. EUR 50.000 x 14 = EUR0,7 million

2003 total = null

2003 total: 15 X an average of EUR 430.000 = EUR6,45 million

Estimated total cost for nation-wide measures: EUR0,7 million + EUR6,45 million = EUR7,15 million

6.2.3 Action for which no financial aid from the Community budget is available (set out in Part 1(C) of the Annex to the draft Decision)

There is significant potential to further the objectives of the European year at little or no cost, by giving permission for the logo and other material associated with the Year to be used by organisations involved in initiatives consistent with the objectives.

Commitments in EUR million (to the 3rd decimal place)

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7. IMPACT ON STAFF AND ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENDITURE

7.1 Impact on human resources

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7.2 Overall financial impact of human resources

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The amounts are total expenditure for two years (duration of the operation)

7.3 Other administrative expenditure deriving from the action

>TABLE POSITION>

The amounts are total expenditure for two years.

(1) Specify the type of committee and the group to which it belongs.

I. Annual total (0,648 + 0,053)

II. Duration of action

III. Total cost of action (I x II) // EUR0,701

2 Years

EUR1,402

8. FOLLOW-UP AND EVALUATION

8.1 Follow-up arrangements

Given that the Year is designed to raise awareness on the rights of people with disabilities, the functions of monitoring and evaluation naturally form part of the activities implemented, in such a way as to derive maximum benefit from them.

The Year will be monitored throughout its operation. The Advisory Committee set up in the framework of the Year will receive regular information prepared by the Commission services. In addition, with regard to national-wide actions, they will be implemented under the auspices of a National Co-ordination Body on a basis of a work programme to be agreed upon by the Commission.

8.2 Arrangements and schedule for the planned evaluation

The Year will be subject to a final evaluation due to be submitted by 31 December 2004. This evaluation will be performed by external evaluators and will start at the beginning of the Year. The framework for evaluation will look in particular at effectiveness, efficiency and relevance of the Year including in terms of the changing of attitudes. Additionally, performance of the Year will also be measured through an Eurobarometer survey to be carried out in 2004 and designed to measure its awareness among the general public

9. ANTI-FRAUD MEASURES

All contracts, agreements and legal undertaking entered by the Commission and the beneficiaries provide for in situ checks and anti-fraud controls to be carried out on the premises of beneficiaries of a Community grant by the Commission and the Court of Auditors, and bestow the power to require evidence of any expenditure made under such contracts, agreements and legal undertakings within five years following the end of the contractual period. Beneficiaries are subject to reporting and financial accounting obligations, and these are analysed from the point of view of content and eligibility of expenditure, bearing in mind the purpose of Community funding, and taking account of contractual obligations and of the principles of economy and sound financial management.

Appended to the financial agreements in information of an administrative and financial nature, designed to specify the kind of expenditure which is eligible under such agreements. Where appropriate, Community coverage of certain costs elements will be limited to items which are real, identifiable and verifiable in the beneficiary's book-keeping arrangements, so as to facilitate checking and auditing (and evaluation for selection purposes) of projects in receipt of funding.

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