European Disability Expertise (EDE)

The European Disability Expertise (EDE) started in July 2020 as the successor to the Academic Network of European Disability Experts (ANED, December 2007 - May 2019). It’s now in its second contract period (December 2021 – June 2023).


The general purpose of this project is to collect, analyse and provide independent and scientific data and information relating to national disability policies and legislation and their relationship to policy and legislation at EU level, as well as on the situation of persons with disabilities. The information and data collected is intended to support the European Commission by:

  • providing information relevant to EU level disability policies and activities (e.g. for the European Semester Cycle);
  • feeding policy and legal information useful for the preparation of future disability policies and for mainstreaming disability in forthcoming initiatives under the Commission;
  • raising awareness of disability issues;
  • contributing to an informed dialogue with organisations of persons with disabilities and with EU Member States; and
  • contributing to the legal reporting obligations arising from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD).


This project builds upon the expertise of Human European Consultancy and existing disability research centres. It is supported by national experts and thematic rapporteurs. The project has links to relevant networks in the disability policy field.

The research and information on disability policies and the situation of people with disabilities take into account the elements relevant to disability of policy instruments, such as the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Europe 2020 Strategy, NextGenerationEU and the Recovery and Resilience Facility, the European Disability Strategy and its successor the Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the European Pillar of Social Rights and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), or their follow up policy initiatives.

The project covers all EU Member States as well as the other eligible participating REC (Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme of the European Union) countries. It uses the UN CRPD as the reference guidance for the collection of data and analysis.

Human European Consultancy manages the project. It has assigned senior experts to the specific project tasks, who guide and support the work performed by the 30 country experts as well as compiling synthesis reports based on the work done by these country experts and their own research. For the purposes of review and quality control, the senior experts are supported by other experts with specialist knowledge. In addition, representatives of the European Disability Forum (EDF) and AGE Platform Europe participate in the project.


The project presents cross-cutting research, and collects, analyses and provides independent data, information and analyses relating to the situation of people with disabilities, by producing:

  • statistics and data reports concerning the Europe 2020 strategy, NextGenerationEU and agreed policy topics;
  • national reports and synthesis reports for input in the European Semester process;
  • thematic policy analysis reports. For the first period (June 2020-December 2021) the focus was on COVID-19, digitalisation and digital transformation; during the second period (December 2021 – June 2023) on employment, independent living and the quality of social services;
  • two reports updating the annotated review of EU law and policy instrument and providing the analysis of provisions that are relevant from a disability perspective.

All reports will be published on a dedicated section of the EMPL Europa website. See below.


The final one-day online conference was organised on 12 November 2021 with the participation of the members of the EDE international research team, European Commission staff and Gerard Quinn, the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities. At this meeting, the results of the research of the first contract period were presented and discussed. The final one-day conference of the second period will be organised in Brussels in May 2023.


A new section on the DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion website, ‘European Disability Expertise’ is dedicated to the work of EDE.


The Disability Online Tool of the Commission (DOTCOM) is constructed from a large database of information about national laws, policies, strategies and initiatives in the Member States of the European Union, its candidate countries and other associated countries. The database contains, for each of these countries, the EU, and the UN, summary information on 48 selected policy instruments, organised in 9 themes (amounting to more than 1,500 records). Each record includes descriptive text and web links to policy documents or sources of further information at the national level.

DOTCOM is part of the new section in the DG EMPL Europa website, European Disability Expertise. The latest update of DOTCOM was published in Spring 2022. The next one will be published in Spring 2023.


For more information on the Academic Network of European Disability Experts (ANED), click here.


European Disability Expertise (July 2020 – ongoing)

European Commission – DG Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion (EMPL)

Human European Consultancy

European Union Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Serbia

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