Norwegian version

Making Persons with Disabilities Full Citizens (DISCIT)

DISCIT aims to produce new knowledge enabling Member States, affiliated European countries and the European Union to achieve full and effective participation of persons with disabilities in society and economy.

In investigating the social and political conditions for making such participation a reality, the project adopts a multifaceted concept of Active Citizenship to operationalise the notion of "full and effective participation" in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

On the basis of a multilevel and institutional perspective, DISCIT examines how different types of policies (income maintenance, social services and social regulation instruments) can be mutually supportive in enhancing Active Citizenship for persons with disabilities. By social regulation we refer to policy instruments aiming at ensuring accessibility and non-discrimination in the market.

DISCITs results will support the redefinition of the European Social Model , in particular by facilitating the implementation of the CRPD at European Union level and in Member States. While Member States have different conditions for implementing the CRPDs requirements, the EU can adopt common minimum standards within their areas of competence and support Member States in complying with the CRPD requirements. The aim of the EU to create a European Social Model for the 21 century promoting social inclusion and cohesion while maintaining financial sustainability necessitates a thorough examination of the options for expanding capabilities and achieving full and effective participation of all citizens, including persons with disabilities.

DISCIT will contribute to this examination by identifying more effective ways to remove and prevent physical, attitudinal, social and organisational barriers to participation on an equal basis with others, in a context of rapid social, economic and environmental change and emerging panoramas of disabilities. 

Budget: 3.053.032 EURO

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 320079.

  • More about the project

    More specifically DISCIT will

    • develop Active Citizenship as a multifaceted concept and explore this as a complex challenge for the EU Member States, affiliated European countries and the European Union (Objective 1)
    • examine the options for synergy between different governance levels (international, European, national, federal, regional/local) to promote Active Citizenship (Objective 2)
    • investigate the socio-economic impact of changes in the conditions for Active Citizenship, i.e. the factors influencing the possibilities for persons with disabilities to fully participate in the economy, the market, community living, civic life, and in the use of new technologies (Objective 3)
    • identify policy lessons and recommendations (Objective 4)

    Seven tasks

    To achieve the four objectives, DISCIT will complete seven tasks:

    1. First, by comparing national policies in selected European countries, DISCIT clarifies the strengths and weaknesses of existing approaches to Active Citizenship, best practice and the scope for policy learning across country-borders.
    2. Second, DISCIT investigates how diverse forms of social regulation - legal, incentive or voluntary-based - can be refined to make them more relevant for enhancing Active Citizenship, given the different traditions and current policy designs of European countries.
    3. Third, DISCIT identifies strategies for making the Fundamental Rights under the Treaty and the CRPD a reality for all European citizens, especially persons with disabilities and the growing population of older persons.
    4. Fourth, DISCIT examines under which conditions re-distributive policies (social benefit and social services) inMember States can be redefined to interact more constructively with their regulatory systems.
    5. Fifth,DISCIT explores strategies for advancing synergies between Member States, affiliated European countries and the European Union (multilevel governance) in promoting Active Citizenship.
    6. Sixth, DISCIT clarifies how new and innovative forms of collaboration between public, private and civil society actors in developing and implementing policies, products and services, can enhance Active Citizenship.
    7. Seventh, DISCIT develops a model for analysing the socio-economic impact of changing conditions for Active Citizenship.

    In sum, these efforts will contribute to the knowledge basis for realising Europe 2020. Such realisation requires considering existing budget priorities, the potential and actual impact of innovative products and services, the needs for reorienting disability relevant social protection programmes and market regulation, and strengthening mechanisms for policy learning.

    Although the debt crisis limits opportunities for social investment in European states, it will be crucial to identify sustainable and yet inclusive programmes, products and services in order to achieve Active Citizenship.

  • Participants at OsloMet

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  • Partner institutions

    • Køln Universitet, Germany (DE)
    • Karl Universitet Praha, Czhech Republic (CZ)
    • Irlands Nasjonale Universitet, Galway, Ireland (IE)
    • Firenze Universitet, Italy (IT)
    • Uppsala Universitet, Sweden (SE)
    • Swiss Paraplegic Research, Switzerland (CH)
    • York Universitet, Great Britain (UK)
    • Mental Disability Rights Initiative of Serbia, Serbia (RS)
    • European Disability Forum, Belgium (BE)
  • Publications

    • Beadle-Brown, J., Biggeri, M., Halvorsen, R., Hvinden, B., Tøssebro, J. &  Waldschmidt, A. (Eds.) (2017). Lived Experiences of Persons with Disabilities: Active Citizenship and Disability in Europe. Volume 2. London and New York: Routledge
    • Hvinden, B. (2017). Beyond the welfare state: What next for the European social model? In P. Blanck & E. Flynn (Eds.). Routledge Handbook of Disability Rights, London: Routledge 2017, pp. 16-30.
    • Halvorsen, R., Hvinden, B., Bickenbach, J., Ferri, D. and Guillén Rodriguez, A.M. (Eds.) (2017). The Changing Disability Policy System: Active Citizenship and Disability in Europe. Volume 1. London and New York: Routledge
    • Hvinden, B., Halvorsen, R. (2017). Mediating Agency and Structure in Sociology: What Role for Conversion Factors? Critical Sociology, 1-2017
    • Ferri, D. (2015). Subsidising Accessibility – Using EU State Aid Law and Policy to Foster Development and Production of Accessible Technology. EStAL – European State Aid Law Quarterly, (1)2015
    • Kline, J. and Giannoumis, G.A. (2015). Assistive Technology in the European Union: Facilitator or Barrier to Free Movement of People with Disabilities. Crit Com, 16/09/2015
    • Sépulchre, M. and Lindqvist, R. (2015). Enhancing active citizenship for persons with psychosocial disabilities. Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research
    • Waldschmidt, A., Karačić, A., Sturm, A. and Dins, T. (2015). “Nothing About Us Without Us” Disability Rights Activism in European Countries – A Comparative Analysis. Moving the Social – Journal of Social History and the History of Social Movements, vol. 53

    Final reports