New EU Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities also serves as an important tool for Finland
In spring 2021, the European Commission published a Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for the period 2021–2030. The Strategy aims to ensure the full participation of persons with disabilities in society. The key principles of the Strategy are equality and non-discrimination.
The European Union and all its Member States have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Strengthening the implementation of the Convention is a common goal for them, and the Strategy will help promote this.
The Strategy is ambitious and broad in scope. It includes seven flagship initiatives, 57 Commission initiatives, and 23 initiatives for measures for Member States. The Strategy emphasises that implementation requires coordinated cooperation at both national and EU level. The Strategy covers the main content areas of the UN Convention.
EU Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities supports national disability policy objectives
Finland is committed to the objectives and effective implementation of the EU Strategy. The Strategy and its objectives are consistent with Finland's disability policy objectives.
In accordance with the Programme of Prime Minister Sanna Marin's Government, a socially sustainable welfare state takes into account the participation of persons with disabilities and their opportunities for independent living.
EU cooperation also brings significant added value to the national implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Finland has published a National Action Plan on the UN Convention for the period 2020–2023, which determines the measures to strengthen the implementation of the Convention at national level.
Cooperation and commitment needed to achieve disability policy objectives
The EU Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the National Action Plan will serve as key tools for Finland’s disability policy in the future. EU-level measures can be used to support national measures and promote the exchange of information and experiences between Member States.
In the future, it will also be essential to raise awareness of the EU Strategy and the rights of persons with disabilities at national level. The Strategy emphasises that the achievement of its objectives requires commitment not only from Member States but also from regional and local authorities.
Tea Hoffrén, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health