Commissioner Diamantopoulou looks back on achievements of disability year

Commissioner Diamantopoulou has warned: anti-discrimination legislation for people with disabilities must be implemented to keep the momentum of the European Year of People with Disabilities.

One of the main objectives of the European Year was awareness
raising. A campaign bus travelled across 105 European cities and
events were organised all over Europe. The media and information
campaign that accompanied the European Year resulted in more than
9,000 news articles.

At the same time, 11 EU Member States failed to
keep to the 2 December 2003 transposition deadline for the
directive that aims to ban discrimination on grounds of religion or
belief, disability, age and sexual orientation.


Commissioner Diamantopoulou has expressed
disappointment over the failure of many Member States to respect
the transposition deadline of the equality in employment directive.
"The way people and governments respond to the needs and
aspirations of people with disabilities is a yardstick of a
society's progress. Member States must implement our comprehensive
anti-discrimination legislation for people with disabilities now,"
said Commissioner Diamantopoulou.

Microsoft was one of the corporate partners in the
European Year of People with Disabilities (EYPD). Microsoft
equipped the awareness raising bus that travelled all over Europe
with the latest assistive technologies. "Our history with
accessibility and our involvement in the EYPD has reinforced our
vision of an environment in which people of all abilities have the
tools they need to work, learn and communicate in a connected
world," said Senior Chairman of Microsoft EMEA Umberto


On the occasion of the European Day of People with
Disabilities (3 December) the Commissioner for Employment and
Social Affairs Anna Diamantopoulou enumerated the achievements of
the European Day of People with Disabilities.


The European Year of People with Disabilities will end with a
conference in Rome on 5-7 December. The organisers expect 500
participants to discuss the outcome of the European Year and seek
commitments from the current and new Member States to ensure that
disability issues remain high on the political agenda.

The achievements of this European Year will
resonate in the Commission's multi-annual Action Plan (launched on
30 October) which aims for the better inclusion of disabled people
in an enlarged EU economy and within society as a whole (see



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