2003 is the European Year of People with Disabilities. The year will drive progress towards achieving equal rights for people with disabilities. Across Europe attention will be focused on the many areas of European society where barriers and discrimination still exist for the one in ten Europeans with a disability.
The European Year of People with Disabilities is an historic opportunity to improve the situation of disabled people throughout Europe. People with disabilities will continue working intensively to take advantage of this opportunity and to advance the disability agenda in the European Union. We have very high expectations for concrete outcomes of 2003: action at national level to prevent discrimination, new initiatives and new and stronger alliances.
Disabled people are citizens with equal rights. We are active as politicians, workers, consumers, tax payers. New measures and active involvement from all sectors should lead to a positive change in the way our societies include disabled people. 2003 shall be the start of a new era, a new way in which society will look at people with disabilities.