Latest Updates from Our Campaigns

Marrakesh Treaty

In the EU, almost a year after deadline, 3 countries still need to adopt national legislation to implement the Marrakesh Treaty Directive: Greece, Luxembourg and Slovenia.

No recent progress in the status of ratification of the Treaty in wider Europe.

European Accessibility Act

Our German member and campaign leader DBSV has announced it will prepare a questions and answers document on the EAA.

Accessible lifts

On 12 and 13 August, our Austrian member BSVÖ hosted an ANEC meeting, to re-discuss documents and revise the CEN Working Group ‘Contrast Study’ draft report on the matter. It was agreed to submit four proposals for possible solutions of the contrast issue in EN 81-70 to the Steering Committee at CEN for decision. Most of them require user tests with partially sighted persons to ensure they are reliable and sufficient.

Accessibility of transport

On 2 September, upon invitation from the European Commission’s DG MOVE, EBU sent and published a report on the experience of visually impaired air travellers. DG MOVE replied that they will use the report for the revision of the interpretative guidelines for the current Regulation on passenger rights of persons with disabilities when travelling by air, and (b) for the evaluation of the Regulation itself – for which there will be a public consultation in the coming months. EDF said it will use our report for their own position on the revision of the Regulation.

Together with other organisations (including Transport & Environment), some MEPs and a number of individuals, EBU co-signed an EDF open letter to EU leaders published on 16 September, about the on-going revision of the Rail Passengers Rights Directive. The letter asks the EU council to at least bring its position on pre-notification delays for assistance in rail travel in line with that of the European Parliament, which is not perfect but a significant step in the right direction. Our national members in the opposing countries were involved in signing and circulating the letter and pressing their governments.

Web Accessibility Directive

Since 23 Sept, all websites newly created website (not yet the existing ones) have to be accessible.

EDF has prepared a toolkit on the transposition of the directive and is collecting feedback on national implementation through a survey. Apparently most often this consists in a simple copy and paste of the directive in national legislation. Bulgaria and Ireland have still not brought national legislation, one year after deadline.

Accessible voting

A briefing paper for members is in preparation by our German member DBSV.


Developments in EU Institutions after European elections

In the renewed European Parliament, over 65 MEPs have confirmed or expressed interest to join the Disability Intergroup. EBU members’ involvement has significantly contributed to this result. The prospects are looking good for the re-instalment of the intergroup. Decision to be taken on this in mid-December.

At the Commission, the new President Ursula von der Leyen (Germany) designated Helena Dalli (Malta) as Commissioner for Equality. As such, Ms Dalli, if approved in the Parliament hearings in October, will be entrusted with “leading on the EU’s implementation of the UNCRPD” and “working closely with the relevant Commissioners to ensure that our external policies also pursue this aim.” Many other commissioners however are also relevant, namely: Margrethe Vestager (Denmark) on “Europe Fit for the Digital Age”; Valdis Dombrovskis (Latvia) on “An Economy that Works for People”; Rovana Plumb (Romania) on Transport; Sylvie Goulard (France) on the Internal Market; Elisa Ferreira (Portugal) on Cohesion and Reforms; and Stella Kyriakides (Cyprus) on Health.

EU Disability Strategy

Reminder: on 31st July the European Commission launched a public consultation for the evaluation of the EU Disability Strategy 2010-2020, open till 23 October, which is open to a wide audience of stakeholders, national or local level NGOs or even concerned individual citizens.

Meeting of the EBU Commission for Liaising with the EU

On 20-22 September, this commission met in Tirrenia (Italy). The agenda included a discussion on our campaigning priorities for the coming years.