The first report is due two years after the entry into force of the CRPD in the State party, with subsequent reports submitted every four years.
These reports form the basis for the CRPD Committee’s review of progress made in implementing the CRPD.
In line with its obligations, the European Commission submitted the first report on the EU’s implementation of the CRPD, on behalf of the EU, in June 2014. The report summarises the actions the EU has taken to implement the CRPD within its sphere of competence, covering both EU law and policy, and internal implementation by EU institutions, agencies and bodies.
In April 2015, the CRPD Committee published the ‘list of issues’ in response to the EU report, asking a series of questions on which it would like additional information from the EU. The European Commission responded on behalf of the EU with further information in June 2015.
The main part of the review process took place in August 2015, with a public ‘constructive dialogue’ between the EU – represented by the European Commission – and the CRPD Committee.
Following this discussion, the CRPD Committee published in September 2015 its assessment of the EU’s implementation of the CRPD and recommendations for follow up in the form of ‘concluding observations’. The concluding observations address almost all articles of the CRPD, giving concrete recommendations for how the EU can better implement the convention.
In addition to the formal documents prepared by the European Commission and the CRPD Committee, a large number of national human rights bodies, civil society organisations and disabled persons organisations submitted their own reports to the CRPD Committee concerning the implementation of the CRPD by the EU.
Key steps in the review of the EU by the CRPD Committee
Source: FRA, 2016
All documents related to the review process are available online.
The EU Framework actively participated in all stages of the review process.
The EU Framework held two private briefings with the CRPD Committee, at the time of the discussion on the list of issues on the EU and of the constructive dialogue. The Framework also gave opening and closing statements during the constructive dialogue between the EU and the CRPD Committee.
Role of the EU Framework in the review process
In addition, the European Parliament organised three events to discuss the review process: a public hearing in May 2015 on the list of issues, a further public hearing in January 2016, and an exchange of views with the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs in February 2016, in which all EU Framework members participated.
All EU Framework members have committed to support the follow up of the concluding observations by the EU.
Part of the CRPD Committee’s concluding observations specifically concern the EU Framework:
“The Committee notes with concern that the European Union Framework for implementation and monitoring of the Convention is not fully in line with the Paris Principles, nor is adequately resourced. Moreover, the European Commission is designated as both the focal point (Article 33.1) and part of the monitoring framework (Article 33.2).
The Committee recommends that the [EU] take measures to decouple the European Commission’s roles – by its removal from the independent monitoring framework – to ensure full compliance with the Paris principles, and that the latter has adequate resources to perform its functions. It further recommends that the [EU] consider the establishment of an inter-institutional coordination mechanism and designation of focal points in each EU institution, agency and body.”
The European Commission, as the focal point for the CRPD in the EU, is requested to provide information to the CRPD Committee on the measures taken to implement this recommendation by September 2016.