The Academic Network of European Disability experts (ANED) was created by the European Commission in December 2007. ANED established and maintains a pan-European academic network in the disability field to support policy development in collaboration with the European Commission’s Disability Unit. Its philosophy and aims support the objectives of European disability policy towards the goal of full participation and equal opportunities for all people with disabilities.
The intention behind ANED's collaborative infrastructure is that it continually facilitates knowledge sharing and lesson learning between research and policy communities in an enlarging Europe and strengthens the European Research Area. The Network is seeking to meet this challenge by engaging the expertise of existing networks, disability research centres, individual experts and external advisors from European organisations representing people with disabilities and older people (in all the 35 countries represented within ANED).
This independent network of experts produces research that supports the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 towards the goal of full participation and equal opportunities for all people with disabilities in a barrier-free Europe.
There have been rapid developments and a 'European' approach to disability has emerged, with distinctive priorities and actor networks. A key challenge remains to support the implementation of a Strategy that connects European disability policy with practice at both the national and the global level.
ANED continues to support the European Commission's work in the field of disability by producing outputs which focus on topics that are timely and relevant to the implementation of the UNCRPD in the context of the European Disability Strategy.
ANED's methodology is framed within the legal context of the UNCRPD and EU competences; its output strategy is detailed in the yearly Work programmes and guided by European Commission requirements for policy-relevant reports and public website content.
The network consists of a core research team and country experts. Each year, national reports are produced by the country experts for selected task areas. These reports can, in some cases, feed into a corresponding synthesis report. For projects which do not require input from ANED's country experts, a synthesis report is produced by an appointed rapporteur.
In addition, ANED hosts annual meetings bringing together its academic members from the EU/EEA Member States with representatives from the Commission staff and key invited guests. The annual meeting provides an important opportunity for members to share expertise, to exchange ideas and to consider the future work programme of the network.
Work conducted by ANED has been very effective when linked directly with the priorities of EU institutions, their policy processes and decision-making, resulting in direct utilisation by diverse stakeholders, including disabled people's organisations, national and regional governments, European networks, EU institutions and international organisations.
The network presents cross-cutting research to: (a) assess the mainstreaming of disability in EU law and policy; (b) develop proposals for comparative indicators of disability equality in European countries; and (c) monitor the targeting and mainstreaming of disability within the main Open Methods of Coordination (OMCs) in the context of PROGRESS and the Lisbon Strategy for growth and jobs.
Since 2007, ANED has produced several hot topic national and synthesis reports. For further details regarding these topics and the reports produced go the project's website.
ANED's advice on indicator development and the existing OMC tools have informed actions to implement the European Disability Strategy, including Commission proposals for a new online tool (DOTCOM) to monitor key policy instruments in the Member States and European Union level in relation to the UNCRPD from 2011.
ANED held its ninth annual meeting on 15 November 2016 in Brussels, Belgium, which focused on the network main tasks, EU2020 and the European Pillar of Social Rights.
The annual meeting consisted of plenary and short round table discussions among ANED's experts and invited speakers. Topics for discussion reflected the issues covered by the 2016-2017 tasks of the network as well as the network's future work programme.
For further information regarding this and past annual meetings of the network, please consult ANED's website.
European network of academic experts in the field of disability (2007 - 2019)
In partnership with the Centre for Disability Studies – University of Leeds
European Union Member States, FYR Macedonia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia and Turkey