chapter  4
12 Pages

Farewell to social Europe?

An entangled perspective on European disability policies in the 1980s and 1990s
ByPaul van Trigt

This chapter addresses the way in which the European social model has become contested since the 1980s from a new angle, from the perspective of disability self-advocacy. In approaching European disability policies in a non-internalist way, it shows that the support of disability self-advocates for the European social model was less self-evident than one would expect from this group: despite their critical perspective, they kept this model on board when the general support for the model became less evident, as Kott pointed out, after 1989. The chapter focuses on the evolution of European disability policies in the 1970s and 1980s, a period in which disability came to be seen as a policy area in its own right in the European sphere. It discusses the context in which European institutions could become a venue for disability rights. Important developments in the process of European integration such as the Maastricht Treaty probably stimulated disability self-advocates to take aim at Europe.