110 million people have a disability which goes from mild to severe and this figure is said to rise in years to come as the European population is ageing. Persons with disabilities are often prevented from fully participating in society and be actors of the economy at the same extent of anyone else.

This is the reason why the European Commission has embraced this issue and adopted a strategy known as the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 in order to promote active inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities. The program identified 8 major axis in need of support from the EU to complement national measures:

- Accessibility

- Participation

- Equality

- Employment

- Education and Training

- Social protection

- Health

- External Action

In line of its actions for persons with disabilities, the EU also became a party of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) in 2011 and committed to support the implementation of the convention in the EU. The purpose of the UNCRPD is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities.

After some years and some modifications in the European Disability Strategy, the European Commission published in November 2017 The European Pillar of Social Rights which dedicate principles that range from inclusion of people with disabilities to equal opportunities, quality and inclusive education, work-life balance, support to children, long-term care or access to essential services.

In order to make concrete all of the latter commitments, EU launches this call for proposals to provide specific operating grants for the year 2019 to European networks having signed a Framework Partnership Agreements (FPA) 2018-2021 with the European Commission.

The FPA links European networks promoting the inclusion of persons with disabilities and the European Commission and allows a better cooperation between the two.

This specific grant will help the networks in the implementation of activities promoting persons with disabilities’ rights. More specifically, the actions should concern, amongst others, one or more of these areas:

- supporting the implementation of the priorities of the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020, taking into account both the Progress Report on its implementation and the main results of the public consultation as mentioned above

- contributing to the implementation of the UNCRPD and promoting the involvement of the national member organisations in the implementation

- supporting the human rights model of disability, including in disability assessment and determination as well as in social protection matters

- supporting the development, implementation and monitoring of EU and national policies and legislation in the area of disability, including the development of statistical data;

- supporting the European Pillar of Social Rights, including contributing to its implementation, in particular the principle 17 on disability, and mainstreaming disability in all its relevant areas;

- supporting the achievement of the Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, notably those with a direct impact for people with disabilities

Applicants will also have some obligations regarding some initiatives such as the annual Work Forum on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the EU and the Member States or the Access City Award, the European Prize for making cities more accessible to people with disabilities and older people.


The deadline for submitting proposals is set on the 20th of September 2018.

For further information, click here