The European Disability Forum (EDF) has launched a campaign entitled ‘Freedom of Movement for All’, focusing on the freedom of movement of persons, as well as of goods and services.
The objective of that campaign is to raise awareness of the many obstacles that persons with disabilities and persons with reduced mobility, including a large number of older people, face in accessing the freedom of movement within the EU and help remove them.
Mainstreamed goods and services are not fully accessible for all groups of the population, and there are a number of barriers to the built environment, to transport, to education, employment, access to information, etc that make it very difficult or even impossible for persons with disabilities and persons with reduced mobility to make use of their right to work or study in – or simply visiting – another Member State.
In order to reach that goal, EDF calls for the adoption of
- a strong and legally binding European Accessibility Act, foreseen in the European Commission Disability Strategy 2010-2020 to be proposed in the course of 2012,
- a harmonized European mobility card allowing people with disabilities to access certain services under the same conditions as nationals with disabilities.
In addition, a “Freedom Guide”, which will assess the current situation for persons with disabilities in relation to Freedom of movement, including a number of recommendations, will be issued in December 2011.
The accessibility and mobility for all whatever their age and ability is an issue AGE is dealing with as an important factor of social integration, participation and cohesion and a way of promoting equal opportunity for all citizens across the European Union. Giving people with disabilities and older people the means to move freely and to benefit from the same advantages and facilities as those offered to the other citizens’ groups is essential to enable everyone to participate actively in society, mobilize all human potential and make sure no one is left behind.
That is why AGE strongly supports EDF’s campaign for free movement for all, an initiative that is fully in line with AGE’s objective to achieve an age-friendly European Union by 2020 and with the aim of the upcoming European Year 2012 for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations which seeks to foster older people’s active participation in society and promote independent living in old age.
More information about the EDF campaign is available on the website https://www.edf-feph.org/Page_Generale.asp?DocID=13854&thebloc=27027. This website will shortly be updated with more comprehensive information.