Although not a specific obligation under the CRPD, disability strategies and action plans can play an important role in coordinating and guiding the implementation of the convention at the national level by highlighting areas which will be at the forefront of government action. In setting out particular milestones which the government intends to reach by the end of the period covered by the plan, they can also act as a baseline against which the implementation of the CRPD can be measured.
Both the Council of Europe and the European Union have developed disability action plans which include measures related to the political participation of persons with disabilities. This indicator assesses whether national disability strategies and action plans in place in EU Member States also address this issue.
Do national disability strategies in the EU Member States include political participation?
Note: those EU Member States for which no data was provided by ANED experts are excluded from this figure.
Sources: Waddington, 2014
National disability strategies or action plans explicitly address political participation in eight EU Member States: Austria, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Latvia and Luxembourg, as well as Slovakia where a draft national disability programme for the period 2014-2017 is being finalised. For example, the German National Action Plan covers the social and political participation of persons with disabilities in chapter three, which addresses anti-discrimination, empowerment and self-help, participation in elections and e-Government, among other issues. The Latvian Guidelines for the Implementation of the CRPD 2014–2020 highlight a number of key challenges in the area of political participation, including a lack of accessible information, and the absence of alternative means of voting or legislation prescribing how assistance is to be provided to persons with disabilities in the electoral process.
In Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Ireland, political participation is not explicitly covered by the national action plan or strategy on disability, but is indirectly addressed. For example, the Czech National plan for creating equal opportunities for persons with disabilities 2010–2014 does not have a section on political participation, but calls for the implementation of Article 12 of the CRPD on legal capacity.
Finally, the analysis indicates that in a further four EU Member States, Greece, the Netherlands, Poland and Slovenia, there is no national disability action plan or strategy. This does not mean, however, that there are no other policies or activities which aim to increase the political participation of persons with disabilities.