Publications and resources
In the EU: the European Commission sent letters of formal notice to those 17 Member States that had not communicated within the 11 October deadline their measures of transposition of the Marrakesh Treaty directive, i.e.: Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Finland, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, United Kingdom. But in the meantime Finland has in fact adopted (and presumably communicated its transposition measures).
No new ratification or accession to the Treaty elsewhere in Europe.
We are still waiting for the formal approval by the European Parliament plenary and then by the EU Council of the provisional political agreement reached on 8 November. No date set for these votes yet, but they surely won’t take place in 2018.
The “digital accessibility tips” Twitter-campaign, coming to an end, has been well picked up by various followers. It illustrates what can be done in the future to be active together and at the same time on a single topic, on social media. We will be watching out for opportunities to repeat the experience, this time on a more political message, targeting key decision makers across Europe, but we need more of our members visibly present and active on Twitter to reach a critical mass.
As usual we attended the annual European conference (Brussels, 3-4 December) on the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, jointly organised by EDF and the Directorate General for Employment and Social Affairs of the European Commission. Without breaking ground on any particular issue, this edition was remarkable in the room given to discussing the implementation of the current European Disability Strategy (2010-20) and priorities for the next 10 year strategy.
We are preparing a Statement to be used ahead of the European elections with political parties and candidates, to position our key issues around the elections and, beyond, for the next 5 years with a renewed assembly and European Commission. The statement is to be finalised in January after invitation of comments and suggestions from members in the EU.
On 28 November, at the initiative of our Irish member NCBI and with EBU support, a blindfold dinner was organised by Austrian MEP Heinz K. Becker at the European Parliament, gathering some 60 participants (MEPs, business representatives namely from the healthcare, a representative of the Austrian Permanent Representation to the EU). The aim was to sensitise the participants to the difficulties of blind persons. The EBU presented its current main concerns and distributed USB sticks with the EBU logo containing selection of relevant recent EBU publications.
We support the petition launched by the European Disability Forum on 3 December, calling for action from EU Governments to ensure accessible voting in 2019. Looking further ahead, because we hardly believe that all problems will be solved by May 2019, this issue will be among those raised in our Statement for the European elections (see above).