Special report of ECA on supporting persons with disabilities

Man with Down syndrome and his female colleague smiling while standing in cafe with arms foldedAbout one fourth of the EU citizens aged 16 or more (approx. 87 million people, mainly elderly persons) have self-declared disability, including mental or physical impairments. According to Eurostat in 2021 only 51% of persons with disabilities had a job (for comparison – the ratio was 75% for persons without disabilities). Also, the threat of poverty was higher among persons with disabilities – women to a larger extent than men – and the COVID-19 pandemic made things even worse.

Elderly man on wheelchair and young man standing next to him at the lakeThe ECA  looked into effectiveness of measures taken by the European Commission to help persons with disabilities. According to the ECA auditors the disability status criteria vary across the EU and the statistical data are not comparable which can make it difficult to mutually recognise that status. The EU strategy for 2021–2030 has set out clear objectives but some issues remain unresolved and the monitoring system in place does not provide information on how the EU financing helps improve the lives of persons with disabilities.

ECA report on supporting persons with disabilitiesThe social policy spending represents a significant part of the budgets of the EU Member States. According to Eurostat, the average national spending on social protection benefits (“disability”) in the EU accounts for 2.2 % of GDP – in case of Poland it was 1.6% of GDP.

Special report no. 20/2023 called Supporting persons with disabilities. Practical impact of EU action is limited and the press release can be found on ECA’s website: ECA's special report on supporting persons with disabilities (ECA's webpage).​ 


Article informations

Date of creation:
16 November 2023 13:47
Date of publication:
16 November 2023 13:47
Published by:
Marta Połczyńska
Date of last change:
16 November 2023 16:34
Last modified by:
Andrzej Gaładyk
Special report of ECA on supporting persons with disabilities © Adobe Stock

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