Select Committee on European Union Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Memorandum by the European Disability Forum

  EDF refers the House of Lords Select Committee to the EDF Resolution on the Convention of the Future of Europe adopted by the EDF Annual General Assembly in Madrid, 18 May 2002.

  Furthermore, in relation to Part One of the new Treaty:

  The European Disability Forum calls for explicit reference to non-discrimination and disability in the first 16 articles of part one on the constitutional structure of the future Treaty.

  It is essential that disability, non-discrimination and the other Article 13 groups are recognised in the fundamental principles of the Treaty and thereby shape the EU policies.

  Without this explicit recognition in Part I of the new Treaty, disability and the other article 13 grounds will be given a much lower degree of prominence than it has currently in the existing Treaties.

  EDF calls for the additions to the following articles:

    1.  Article 2 in order to add "equality" to the values of the Union.

    2.  Article 3 to frame the socio-economic objectives of the European Union around a "model of society" and insert an additional objective (as per the Social Europe Working Group Report) as follows: "non-discrimination on the basis of racial or ethnic origin, religious or sexual orientation, disability and age."

    3.  Article 6 "Non-discrimination" and add after the paragraph on nationality a second paragraph based on the present Article 13 (TEC). "Without prejudice to any of its specific provisions, any discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation shall be prohibited."

    4.  Add to the list of principal areas of shared competence in Article 12(4):

  "—The fight against discrimination".

  The legal basis for rules prohibiting discrimination (current article 12 and 13 TEC) should be placed in a specific title (on fundamental rights) in Part II on policies, preserving the horizontal dimension of the current provisions, encompassing all EU policies.

  For this reason EDF asks to add to the list of principal areas of shared competence in Article 12(4): also "the fight against discrimination".

  Without the inclusion of this amendment, non-discrimination issues will be constrained to one policy area such as social policy, which would be extremely negative as it would not allow for non-discrimination issues to be addressed horizontally which is particularly important with regards disability (for example disability questions relate to transport, public health, consumer protection, as well as social policy).

25 February 2003

previous page contents next page

House of Lords home page Parliament home page House of Commons home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2003