EASPD warns: austerity measures endanger social services all over Europe

PDF 

EASPD warns: austerity measures endanger social services all over Europe

On 7th and 8th October 2010 around 200 delegates from the European disability sector came together in Skopje, fYR Macedonia, for the European conference “Current realities – future challenges” to discuss how to promote inclusion of people with disabilities in society.

During the conference, representatives of the Macedonian Government confirmed that they will ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by the end of the year.

This overall good news was overshadowed by the dramatic and disturbing developments in the social sector in the East and Southeast of Europe as brought up by Romanian representatives and many others.

“Due to the implementation of the austerity measures in Romania, the social sector faces extreme cuts which lead to a situation of poor survival. The money persons with disabilities receive from the government is not enough to pay three meals a day. The cuts in the budget and the freeze in hiring staff in the social and health sectors until 2013 forces professionals to leave the country and leads to an exodus”, an EASPD member from Romania said during the conference. “We ask the European community to help us, as the existence of the Romanian social sector is threatened by the lack of funding.”

Discussing the Romanian case then showed that in many other European countries persons with disabilities, their families and services are also suffering the consequences of the economic crisis and the cuts in social spending.

EASPD President Franz Wolfmayr welcomes the decision of the Macedonian authorities to ratify the UN Convention but also warns policy-makers in the European Members States that the harsh cuts in the social and health sectors could break the backbone of the European welfare systems. “The Macedonian objective to ratify the UN Convention is a positive sign in difficult times which shows that change is possible step by step. At the same time we must not forget that the UN Convention cannot be adequately implemented without the needed resources and structures. In some countries persons with disabilities live in very difficult and not acceptable situations. The austerity measures threaten their living conditions and support services. We need to work all together to keep the European welfare systems alive and to set the ground for the implementation of the UN Convention all over Europe.”

Further information:  Luk Zelderloo, Secretary General  EASPD

Press contact: Ms Charlotte Boetticher, tel. +32 2 282 46 10, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

OUR MAIN PARTNERS

Making it Work

EASPD

 


OUR MAIN DONORS


Department for International Development

Department for International Development

Handicap International

Handicap International

European Commission European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights

European Commission European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights


Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency

Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency

Disability Monitor Initiative in South East Europe is managed by the Center for Society Orientation – COD (Centar za orijentaciju društva).

The mandate of COD is to support capacity building of local actors in the Republic of Serbia and other countries of Southeast Europe during transition period, in order to enable all marginalized groups, with a special focus on people with disabilities, enjoying their fundamental human rights and equal opportunities.

Copyright © 2005 - 2014 Disability Monitor Initiative. All Rights Reserved
*This website has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this website is the sole responsibility of Center for Society Orientation and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.