Following the economic crisis of 2008, the European Union has been very active in the coordination of economic and social policy in Europe. This started with the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) which is a set of rules which limits public debt, regulates the extent to which Member States can spend (in terms of public expenditure) and promotes so-called “sound public finances”. This impacts public investment in services for persons with disabilities.
The European Semester is a framework developed to help Member States coordinate their economic and social policies. Each year the European Commission analyses policies at national level and makes recommendations on key areas for improvement. Whilst this started initially with a focus on fiscal policy, it has increasingly dealt with issues related to social, employment and education related policies.
For EASPD, the European Semester is an opportunity to inform the European Commission about the major issues and barriers for disability services hindering their implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. As such, we regularly produce reports highlighting these barriers in several European countries. EASPD is also active in monitoring the impact of the EU’s fiscal rules.