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MHE Calls on EU Leaders to Strengthen Dimension of Disability Policies

  • Published: 2010-06-20 : Author: Mental Health Europe (MHE)
  • Synopsis: Mental Health Europe calls on EU leaders to adopt a poverty target and to mainstream disability in the EU 2020 Strategy.

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Mental Health Europe calls on EU leaders to adopt a poverty target and to strengthen the dimension of disability policies in the EU 2020 Strategy.

Prior to the European summit of the EU heads of states and governments on 17 and 18 June 2010 where further important elements of the EU 2020 Strategy will be decided upon, Mental Health Europe (MHE) calls on the EU leaders to adopt a binding poverty reduction target and to strengthen the dimension of disability policies in the overall strategy.

In a letter sent to the Heads of State and Governments, Mental Health Europe underlined the importance of adopting a strong target on poverty reduction and encouraged EU leaders to reaffirm their support. MHE emphasized the fundamental need to combat poverty since poverty and mental health problems are bidirectionally linked. People experiencing poverty are often suffering from mental health problems due to financial uncertainty and fear about the future. Likewise people who are suffering from mental health problems are facing a higher risk of falling into a poverty trap.

Poverty and social exclusion signify a violation of human dignity and fundamental rights and should not be tolerated in the European Union, one of the richest regions of the world. MHE furthermore called on EU leaders to adopt the proposal that was put forward by the European Commission to set the poverty indicator at 60 % of the median income, the indicator that has been utilized for many years in the frame of the Open Method of Coordination and by EUROSTAT.

MHE also sent a letter to the EU leaders, supporting the European Disability Forum (EDF) proposal for a European Disability Pact to be included in the EU 2020 Strategy in order to mainstream disability issues in the strategy and its flagship initiatives. The EU 2020 Strategy should ensure that people with disabilities are included in the labor market performing meaningful jobs and have access to comprehensive and adapted education. To meet these objectives, the EU 2020 Strategy should make clear references to people with disability, including people with mental health problems in all policies.

Consequently, MHE believes that the European Disability Pact should be an integral part of the EU 2020 Strategy since it will help national governments to better implement the goals set in the EU 2020 Strategy on inclusive growth into national targets and trajectories.

MENTAL HEALTH EUROPE - SANTE MENTALE EUROPE aisbl Boulevard Clovis 7, B-1000 Brussels Tel +32 2 280 04 68 - Fax +32 2 280 16 04 E-Mail: Mental Health Europe calls on the Heads of State and Governments to take these proposals into account and to adopt the necessary policy framework at the European Council Meeting in order to improve the living and working conditions for people with mental health problems in European societies.

For further information contact the Mental Health Europe Secretariat Email, Tel. +32 2 280 04 68

Mental Health Europe (MHE) is a European non-governmental organization committed to the promotion of positive mental health, the prevention of mental distress, the improvement of care, advocacy for social inclusion and the protection of human rights for (ex-) users of mental health services, their families and carers. For more information:


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