Human dignity is inviolable, it must be respected and protected1

R&D is based on the universal and fundamental values which include respect, dignity, equality, non-discrimination and of course solidarity.

Since our creation, we have been involved in all areas that affect the daily lives of our colleagues to improve their working conditions and find a real balance between their work and personal life.

We are very sensitive to the well-being of our colleagues, especially when they have a disability, as well as those who have children or relatives with disabilities.

To this end, we are organizing an exhibition of photos by Michel Loriaux on the theme of autism entitled “Alone with Others, in the world of adolescents with psychological disorders and young autistic from ‘Porte ouverte'” from 13 to 30 November 2017 at the Berlaymont – 1st floor, under the patronage of Commissioner Marianne Thyssen in charge of Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility

This exhibition has already been appreciated by the critic as well as the then Belgian Minister of Health.

By our decision to organize it within our institution we also want to draw the attention of our administration to the fact that the development of a child with a disability demands from her/his parents attention and availability.

A very clear legal framework…

Indeed, according to WHO2, children with disabilities and their families face barriers, notably inadequate legislation and policies, negative attitudes, inadequate services and lack of accessible environment.

The UN Conventions on the Rights of Children (UNCRC) and on the Rights of

The UN Conventions on the on the Rights of Children (CRC)4 and on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD)5 say that children with disabilities have the same rights as other children.

By ratifying on 5 January 2011, the second of these conventions, the European Union strengthens the rights of persons with disabilities by guaranteeing their civil, political, social and economic rights.

Article 24 of the said Convention on Education stresses that the education system is required to provide inclusive education at all levels and to offer, throughout life, educational opportunities which include, among other things, the full development of human potential and the feeling of dignity and self-esteem, as well as the strengthening of human rights, fundamental freedoms and human diversity …

In addition, it provides for effective individualized support measures in environments that maximize academic progress and socialization, in line with the goal of full integration.

The aim of the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 is to ensure the effective implementation of the UNCRPD not only in the Member States but also in the European institutions … It focuses on the removal barriers faced by persons with disabilities and works in 8 areas, including education and training.

In practice, within our institution, progress has been made but much remains to be done

Within our institution, also thanks to the efforts of R & D and the Staff Representation, progress has been made. Services and social workers support the concerned colleagues and their families.

Nevertheless, these measures remain insufficient to:

  • allow effective access to civil service for candidates with a disability,
  • take charge of the difficulties of colleagues who have a disability during their career,
  • guarantee children and their families an optimal level of education and special care for those who need more attention. In this respect, European Schools must redouble their efforts to better meet the needs of students with disabilities

Given the above, on the occasion of this exhibition R & D, assisted by its legal advisers, will launch a consultation with parents and all associations concerned to propose to Commissioner Oettinger appropriate solutions and an action plan.

For now, we invite you to discover the world of adolescents with psychological disorders and young autistic from ‘Porte ouverte’ at Blicquy by visiting the exhibition “Alone with Others” by Michel Loriaux from 13 to 30 November 2017 at the Berlaymont -1st floor.

Cristiano Sebastiani