Between the 29th September and 7th October 2014, the European Parliament will hold the hearings for the Commissioners-designate. Indeed, ever since the Lisbon Treaty, the European Parliament has to approve the proposed candidates for becoming Commissioners. During this process, Members of the European Parliament can question the Commissioners-designate on their suitability for the role they are candidate for and potentially refuse the proposed Commissioners.
The European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD) fully welcomes this process which brings added democratic legitimacy and transparency to the decision of whom should be our next European Commissioners. Indeed, each European Commissioner will be in charge of developing key policies and actions over the next few years, having an impact on nearly every aspect of our lives and it is only normal that our elected Members of the European Parliament can have a say in the decision to appoint them or not.
In the hearings, each parliamentary committee will be given the chance to ask the relevant Commissioner-designate a series of questions focusing both on their aptness for the position, as well as on their plans for their mandate. For this reason, EASPD, representing over 10, 000 social service providers for persons with disabilities throughout Europe, encourages Members of the European Parliament to ask the following questions to the relevant Commissioners-designate. Each question is key to improving the quality of social service provision in Europe and consequently to help enable persons with disabilities to fully enjoy their human rights.
- How do you plan to unleash the job creation potential in the social services sector? Do you think a dedicated Communication in which a proposal for an EU action plan is presented would be useful?
- How is the European Commission planning to safeguard quality public services in the TTIP negotiations and will the social and health services sectors be completely excluded?
- How will you speed up the transition process towards community-based settings and what are your targets?
- How will you ensure that the new operational document (staff working paper) of the EDS goes beyond declaration of rights and also includes avenues to further develop the needed support and social services?
- What initiatives will you take to better exploit the expertise of the European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education, or transform it in a more proactive, impactful body, in order to enhance the rights of children with disabilities?
For information about why we have called on the Members of the European Parliament to ask these questions to the relevant Commissioners-designate, please read our Written Questions.
EASPD has also drafted a basic Guide to the Commissioner-designate hearings.
For more information, please contact:
Thomas Bignal, Policy & Communications Officer
- 0032 2 282 46 11