European Disability Policy after the Uncrpd: Austerity Measures or Social Investments?
First, we examine to what extent the political agendas of the EU and European governments have included the goal of promoting the full and effective participation in society of persons with disabilities – and more specifically – the aspects of such participation the authors frame as dimensions of Active Citizenship; opportunities for exercising rights and duties, living independently and making autonomous choices, and participating as individuals and groups in policy making processes of importance to oneself.
Second, we examine what existing comparative data tell us about the diversity and direction of disability policy in Europe. Has the financial crises starting in 2008 and the measures of fiscal consolidation in Europe involved a shift towards austerity in disability policy? Has disability policy in Europe moved in the direction of the kind of Social Investment strategy promoted by the European Union? If we can find trends in direction of one or both of these scenarios, have they affected European countries in the same way or to the same extent?
Third, the paper concludes by identifying the overall trends and some alternative scenarios for the future directions of disability policy in Europe.