EBU attended two “Strategic Dialogue” meetings organised on 11 April by the Civil Dialogue Team of the “Disability and Inclusion” unit of the Commission’s DG Employment and Social Affairs. Some feedback here:

EU Disability Strategy

In a meeting attended by DPOs, the Commission presented the results of a recent online survey to evaluate the current Strategy (2010-2020) and assess priorities for the next Strategy. There were 87 replies (only 1 per organisation allowed), including from EBU. The results comfort the EBU’s indication of equality, employment, accessibility and participation as the most important areas for future action. In follow-up to this survey, a public consultation will take place, possibly before the summer, the results of which will feed into the European Day of Persons with Disabilities 2019. That consultation will be open to organisations as well as individuals, and the Commission calls for wide participation.

Discrimination at the workplace

On 1st May the European Commission will launch a campaign against discrimination at the workplace, aiming to raise awareness about rights, and asked for DPOs’ support in making the campaign visible. They are also looking for examples of good practices and employers to invite in events that will take place in Belgium, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Lithuania, Hungary, Czech Republic and Ireland.

European Day of Persons with Disabilities

The 2019 edition will take place on 28-29 November. The Commission welcomes suggestions of speakers and themes, and expressions of interest for side-exhibitions.

Access City Award

On the 10th anniversary of the award, DPOs’ help is needed to make this award more visible. (By the way, EBU had largely communicated around the 2018 edition). EBU suggested that past winners be invited to tell about the positive impact of their award, possibly, for instance on tourism; and that the award could evolve toward a European label. The Commission replied that this coincided with their own reflections.


Various units of the DGs EMPL and EAC presented this new financial instrument (still in the legislative pipe-line) and solicited the views of the NGOs of the social sector. InvestEU integrates the various EU financial instruments to bring investment in areas where it is hard to get, and will be more policy-driven than ESF today. With, for the first time ever, a dedicated window “Social Investment and Skills”, it aims to foster high risk investment in the social economy, in complementarity to existing grants. Not a top-down, but a bottom-up approach, in reply to NGOs’ request to be involved; 25% of the funding would be for implementing partners from the social economy. As far as persons with disabilities are concerned, InvestEU would prioritise employment, personal assistance, accessibility and public services, EMPL Unit C.3 said.