European Day of Persons with Disabilities Conference 2011
The European Commission celebrates the European Day of Persons with Disabilities with an annual conference, organised in close cooperation with the European Disability Forum. The conference is part of the EU's wider efforts to promote the mainstreaming of disability issues.
This year, the conference was held on 1 and 2 December. It attracted close to 300 participants, including key players in the disability policy field, such as representatives from the EU member states, NGOs and disability organisations, practitioners, experts and service providers, and people with disabilities.
The year 2011 saw some important positive achievements, such as the entry into force for the EU of the UN CRPD on 22 January 2011. However, the economic and financial crisis has continued to make life more difficult for European citizens and in particular for people with disabilities, who are often more vulnerable and adversely affected by austerity measures adopted by the EU Member States.
This is why this year's Conference explored how EU legislation, policies and funding can contribute both to enhancing the enjoinment of their rights by people with disabilities and to finding a social way out of the crisis.
On 1 December, the Austrian city of Salzburg was announced as the winner of the Access City Award 2012 in a festive ceremony at the presence of Commission Vice President Viviane Reding. For more information on the Award please visit http://accesscityaward.eu/index_en.htm.