Implementing the UN CRPD: An overview of legal reforms in EU Member States

A new Focus paper by the EU Agency of Fundamental Rights (FRA) outlines how Member States across the EU have reformed their laws and policies to meet their obligations under the CRPD. By bringing together examples of such reforms, it also highlights how the adoption of international commitments can drive wide-ranging processes of change at the national level.

Many people with disabilities often face legal and societal barriers that prevent them from taking an active and full part in society. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) has helped galvanise efforts to advance the rights of people with disabilities across the EU since it entered into force in 2008.

Key facts

  • To date, the CRPD has been ratified by 25 EU Member States and the EU itself.
  • The CPRD is driving wide-ranging legislative changes in and across the EU, and this momentum is likely to continue thanks to the convention’s in-built monitoring mechanism. 
  • Despite lack of progress on the proposed equal treatment Directive, some EU countries have extended protection against discrimination on the grounds of disability beyond employment and occupation, the areas already covered by EU law. 
  • Legal capacity remains one of the areas with the largest number of reforms at the national level linked to CRPD ratification. 
  • Many Member States are taking steps towards more inclusive education systems. 
  • Legal reforms have also affected legislation on involuntary placement and involuntary treatment with most Member States reforming their legal frameworks before, and after, the CRPD entered into force. 
  • European and national jurisprudence is increasingly drawing on the CRPD, acting as an additional driver of reform.