EBU provides a European platform for its membership to share views, expertise and information and to act together on matters of common interest.
The Annual Report looks in detail at the work carried out in the previous year.
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.
EBU Central Office
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 11 February 2023 in Helsinki, the Action Plan 2023 sets out actions to be conducted in 2023 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.
Our Finances in 2022
After almost 40 years of existence, the European Blind Union’s revenues for 2022 approached one million euros for the first time, exactly double the figure for 2015, with the amount of contributions increasing by 34% and the grants awarded for our various projects multiplying by 3.4 times, significantly exceeding the inflation rate over the last eight years.
We achieved a relatively large surplus of €57,999 in 2022, for the reasons indicated below:
-first, and I am infinitely grateful to our members, all paid their contributions, with the exception of associations in countries affected by the war, in the amount of €251,800. The few who were late (except one) even brought their account back up to date, which explains the slight surplus against the budget forecast;
-moreover, the grant of €482,194 given to us by the European Commission (for the CERV22 project) covers 90% of the expenditure incurred to carry out our various activities (staff costs, fees, rent, etc.) so that our contribution is just 10%, or €48,200; we cannot, however, assume that this will continue in the future;
Most of our expenditure remains stable and in line with the budget forecast. We should, however, note:
- Expenditure of €5,325 on consultancy costs, including €5,150 paid to the Spanish company ILLUNION to update our website;
- A 20% rent increase for our Paris offices, explained by leasing additional premises for our new employees throughout 2022;
- Our travel costs were much lower than forecast, with many of our meetings now taking place via conference call;
- We had allowed for increased expenditure on internet use, which did not materialise but was counterbalanced by the consultancy costs mentioned above;
- Recruitment of a new employee and agreed termination of another employee’s contract, which explain the slight increase in salary costs; social-security contributions remained unchanged;
- Only our Swiss friends contributed to the Solidarity Fund, but many of you made one-off donations to support Ukraine, totalling €83,879, of which €54,079 has yet to be used. I cannot list all our donors but I would like to make special mention of our German, British and Italian friends for the generosity of their contributions.
Total revenues amounted to €956,892, essentially made up of funds from our various projects (€668,510) and contributions. Nonetheless, we should note that two significant projects – Pas-CAL and PARVIS – came to an end in 2022. These brought in resources of €186,312, which we will not have next year.
While this is a very healthy situation, we should nonetheless remain prudent.
The EBU Solidarity Fund.
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