With Europe now in its fifth year of economic crisis, the most vulnerable in society are feeling the effects of governments' reined-in spending. Disabled people, often reliant on both state services and allowances, are among those hardest hit.
The commission wants to give the power to member states to reject EU-approved genetically modified organisms, but the Maltese presidency is unlikely to approach the issue any time soon.
Social-democrats and their allies scored a major win on Thursday with the adoption of a report on social rights. But questions remain on the parliament's power balance after the end of the left-right grand coalition.
News in Brief
- EU housing price increase by 4.3%
- EU trade chief says UK deal will take 'couple of years'
- German defence spending boost not enough for Nato goal
- Belgian MPs refuse to give up free alcohol
- Merkel last leader to get call from Obama
- Report: Hollande thinking of EU council bid
- Italy to hold 70% of Monte dei Paschi bank
- Nato hit by 500 cyberattacks every month
An estimated 1.2 million people with disabilities in Europe continue to languish in long-stay institutions. Institutionalisation is widely recognised as a systematic and egregious violation of human rights, writes Judith Klein.
As executive director of a recuperation centre for disabled people in central Portugal, Cristina Silva has seen first hand how the economic crisis in Portugal is affecting society's most vulnerable.
People from Malta are least likely to have health problems that limit their daily activities. In 2011, 88 out of 100 told EU pollsters they were fine. Only 64 percent of Slovenes did, and some 75 percent of EU citizens.
European Parliament leaders have committed themselves to better upholding the rights of persons with disabilities, starting with making their political websites more universally accessible ahead of next year's EU elections.
As the EU nears a deal on its seven-year trillion-euro budget, disability campaigners are fighting to ensure that EU regional funding is only spent on projects that also benefit disabled people.
Over recent decades, there has been a "paradigm shift" in the way disability rights are treated in the European Union with policy-makers now focussing on how to make society more inclusive of disabled people.
Austerity measures are reversing the social, educational and societal gains made by disabled people in recent years, a new study shows.
Disabled people from all over Europe will travel to Brussels at the beginning of December to voice their anger at social welfare cuts.
Three quarters of 30 million blind and partially sighted in Europe do not have a job, amid accusations of "extraordinary complacency" by government officials.
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