Europos Sąjungos socialinė neįgaliųjų politika: žmogiškųjų išteklių diskursas.
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The challenges facing the European Union (EU) at the turn of the century confirmed the importance of social affairs for its policy agenda. The essence of the research is to identify problems and analyse interrelated social policy for disabled in EU and Lithuania. Disabled policy remains one of the weakest areas of EU social policy. It began as an adjunct to traditional policy areas such as freedom of movement and employment policy and has only succeeded in expanding its influence by becoming an adjunct to education, social inclusion and anti-discrimination policy. The EU approach to disability does not identify separate categories of people, but is instead based on individual needs. This is a much more socially-inclusive approach than one based on categorisation. It implies a general shift away from disability-specific programmes towards a mainstream approach. The goal is to ensure that people with disabilities enjoy the same human rights as everyone else, by removing barriers and combating all forms of disability-related discrimination. The European Union’s commitment towards its disabled citizens goes hand in hand with an approach to disability based not on the concept of passive assistance but on the idea of integration and active participation in economic and social life. Access to employment is crucial for the integration of the people with disabilities. The main programmes financed by the European Social Fund, the Community initiative EQUAL and the European employment strategy are designed to facilitate this process. In addition, the modernisation of social protection systems ought to help ease the transition from dependency on passive welfare benefits to incentives in the form of work-linked benefits. Social Agenda covering the period up to 2010 declares jobs and opportunities for all. The Commission is fully committed to the modernization and development of the European social model as well as to the promotion of social cohesion as part of Lisbon Strategy and the Sustainable Development Strategy. The main purpose of the action plan is therefore to recognise and protect the rights of people with disabilities. It brings a new challenges for member states in promoting social cohesion and developing European social model.
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