EBU provides a European platform for its membership to share views, expertise and information and to act together on matters of common interest.
With its large network of member organisations EBU brings together a wealth of expertise related to visual impairment and its implications in the daily life of millions of persons with sight loss
EBU has become a powerful, recognized voice in the international disability movement - EBU is the voice of blind and partially sighted people in Europe.
Each EBU member organization is represented by a national delegation that participates in the EBU General Assembly held every four years.
The General Assembly of Members is EBU's supreme governing body. Some functions carried out at the General Assembly meetings include election of the board of officers, approval of constitutional amendments, (financial) reports on work carried out in the past mandate, strategic plans for the next four years.
The founding Assemblies of EBU and WBU were held in Norway, in August of 1984. Since then, another ten General Assemblies have taken place every three, and later every four years.
The last general assembly was hosted by the Italian Union of the Blind and Partially Sighted (UICI) in Rome, Italy, from 28-30 October 2019.
The EBU is led by a board consisting of 5 officers (President, first and second vice presidents, treasurer and secretary general) and up to 8 ordinary members. They are elected by the EBU membership at the General Assembly for the period of four years. Board members are accountable to the General Assembly. All board members are blind or partially sighted.
The Board usually holds 3 to 4 face-to-face meetings a year. Detailed information about its composition, voting procedure, powers and functions can be found in the EBU Constitution.
The implementation of the EBU strategic plan is entrusted to project groups led by EBU national members and is monitored by the Board.
The EBU Central Office is based in Paris, France. It supports the Board and project groups in their work and is a central contact point for information to the EBU membership, partners, external parties and the general public.
EBU is a registered charity in France W751105073
The EBU Constitution is the governing instrument of EBU.
The key priorities and initiatives are articulated in the EBU Strategic Plan for the four year working period.
Discussed and approved by the EBU Board at its meeting held on 08 February 2020 in Prague, the Action Plan 2020 sets out actions to be conducted in 2020 to implement the Strategic Orientation Plan.
The United Nations Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities is an important instrument in EBU work, take a look at our database on the application of the convention in different countries.
While the European Blind Union’s 2019 financial statements show a slight deficit for the year of €5,667 (0.96% of revenues), which has not occurred since 2014, the situation is not overly concerning and is mainly explained by short-term expenditure that was not fully covered by additional revenues.
Our fixed costs remain well controlled and overall, in line with our budget estimates. The main items are:
Our total expenditure was therefore €593,125, exceeding our budget estimates by €35,700.
Our main funding sources remain very stable from one year to the next, and are as follows:
Our total revenues were therefore €587,458, €30,000 more than our estimates, which explains the small deficit of €5,667.42 for 2019.
At 31 December 2019, we had €679,542 in our various bank accounts. The total reserves shown on the balance sheet before the income appropriation for the year was €633,560; €166,826 remained allocated to the Solidarity Fund and €22,740 to help African associations providing support for visually impaired people.
We note the following with satisfaction at the end of 2019:
On the other hand, further efforts are needed to ensure that:
The statutes of the new European Blind Union Solidarity Fund were approved by the EBU Board at its meeting in Paris on 29 October 2016.
This fund is intended to provide a mechanism for organisations of blind and partially sighted people to seek support/relief if they experience financial difficulties in, among others, paying their membership fees, developing projects, organising or participating in meetings.
For full details on the EBU Solidarity Fund and how to apply for assistance contact the EBU office