EULAR and European social policy


Europe is more and more influencing local policies in the area of social and employment affairs. This is why European organisations have increasingly become partners for the development of new political and legislative approaches from the "central" level. EU law today impacts heavily in fields like the fight against disability and discrimination, protection of workers in the work place or limitation of working time.
Rheumatic Diseases are the single biggest cause of physical disability. The diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue such as arthritis or osteoporosis also are particularly important in terms of cost of disability benefits. Whereas traditional disability policy focused only on handicaps such as blindness or deafness, modern approaches recognise the importance of chronic diseases as disabling conditions. EULAR strives to address all aspects of disability in the medical and political debate.

European year 2012 coalition on Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations

2012 is the European Year of Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations. On this occasion, AGE Platform Europe, a major organisation, representing the interest of elder people in Europe, launched a coalition on the European Year. The aim of the coalition is to promote a vision of a society for all ages.

Throughout the year various activities will take place to support creating an age-friendly Europe. EULAR is part of the coalition to ensure that the interests of the RMD community are adequately represented.

European disability legislation

Disability policies are essentially a responsibility of the EU Member States. However, Community policies and actions impact in many ways on the situation of disabled people. In addition, Article 13 of the EC Treaty provides the legal basis for EU measures to combat discrimination based on disability.
In recent years, the European Union has adopted several directives to fight discrimination in day to day life. This work will continue over the coming years. EULAR as the representative organisation for a wide range of disabling conditions works in partnership with European and international organisations to improve the life of millions of people with these conditions. Getting better disability legislation at European and national level is one of EULAR's main objectives.
In October 2011 EULAR, for the first time, was invited to join a European Commission High Level Group on Disability meeting. EULAR presented on the disabling effects of RMDs and the burden this presents on European healthcare systems and individuals.


Hungarian EU Presidency Conference

In April 2011 the Hungarian Association of Rheuamtologists, the Fit for Work Europe Coalition and EULAR met under the patronage of the Hungarian Presidency of the EU. The conference on the 'Burden of Rheumatoid and Musculoskeletal Diseases (RMDs): Challenges in Work Capacity and Prevention of Disability in the EU' called on the EU and the National Governments to recognise the socio-economic impact of RMDs on the European workforce.

The EULAR Charter for Work - Integrating people with rheumatic conditions in work life

People affected by rheumatic conditions/arthritis and other musculoskeletal diseases want to chose freely their way of integration into working life. EULAR supports projects aiming at facilitating access or return to work. In early 2009 the EULAR Charter for Work was launched, raising awareness of the needs of people with chronic conditions at the work place. The charter calls for a real dialogue with employers, insurers and policy makers to shape proper conditions for work ability. New work organisation models are promoted as a way of getting more people who want to work (back) into work. EULAR also collaborates with Fit for Work in this matter.








EY2012 Active Ageing

Read press release >>

Official website >>


Fit for Work Europe

Official website >>


Disability Strategy

Official website >>


European Disability Forum

Read Freedom Guide >>


Hungarian EU Presidency Conference

Read declaration >>


EULAR Charter for Work

Read charter >>