It is now confirmed by WIPO that Belarus joined the Marrakesh Treaty.
On 8-9 July, EBU participated in a meeting (online) of CEN/TC 10/WG 7, the EU standardisation body’s working group that is revising the accessible lifts standard. Reminder: this was an extraordinary invitation, likely resulting from complaints from EBU and partners ANEC and EDF that our concerns had not been sufficiently heard in a tentative revision in 2018, namely in a related EBU paper to the European Commission in February 2019.
Ahead of that meeting, a joint paper of ANEC and DPOs, based on a first EBU draft, was sent to WG 7, to present our recommendations.
Disappointingly, no agreement was found on any of the important issues raised in our paper, but only on minor points. Importantly, however, the meeting identified matters that WG 7 nevertheless needs to address under the current revision. These include contrast issues (the primary object of this revision, yet not the one raising more difficulties) and Braille. Other issues of concern to BPS persons were also discussed: touch screens; marking of glass doors; destination control systems. Interestingly, the chair of WG 7 acknowledged Braille as one of the more important issues.
We expect to be invited again to the next meeting of the same group on 6-7 October, in Helsinki tentatively.
On 30 June the actual start of the campaign was announced to our members in the EU, with our German member DBSV as campaign leader. We attached a draft EBU position paper, inviting comments or amendments, and expressions of expertise/interest to be involved more closely in the campaign. We warned our members, though, that we had already needed to circulate the draft as such, for lobbying purposes, in order not to miss out on developments.
In fact, as early as on 1st July, we issued a first action request, as the new German presidency of the EU resumed discussions on the proposed Regulation on the Creative Europe programme for 2021-2027. We invited our members in the EU to:
send the (draft) position paper to their ministries of culture and relevant advisers at their country’s permanent representation to the EU, and express support for some key amendments proposed by the European Parliament in its first reading position; and inform of our position and action the key MEPs on this file, urging the European Parliament to stand firm on its amendments.
- We participated in early July in a series of European Disability Strategy Consultation meetings for DPOs: first around Commissioner Dalli on 1 July 2020, and then around her cabinet member responsible for disability policy, Nora Bednarski, on 6 July, to discuss in depth our views and proposals for the future strategy.
- We participated in a Strategic Dialogue Meeting on "Digital Education Action Plan", on 8 July, around Emmanuelle GRANGE, Head of Unit "Disability and Inclusion", DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion.
- After a first meeting on 25 June, we participated in a second brainstorming meeting with MEP Katrin Langensiepen, on 2 July, to inform her report to the European Parliament’s EMPL committee on "Implementation report on the Employment Equality Directive in light of the UNCRPD". In the context of these exchanges, we submitted the following two relevant documents: the EBU-ONCE report on the situation of visually impaired persons regarding employment in Europe; and the recent publication “Making the future of work inclusive of persons with disabilities”, developed by Fundación ONCE and the ILO Global Business and Disability Network (ILO GBDN), which analyses the megatrends of the future of work from the perspective of disability and identifies 5 five key objectives and specific actions for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in employment.
- We replied in early July to two public consultations by the European Commission, respectively on the Digital Education Action Plan (as updated due to the COOVID-19 crisis), and on the final evaluation of European statistical programme 2013-2020. We also circulated to our members a consultation on the evaluation of the air Regulation (EC/1107/2006) on the rights of people with disabilities/reduced mobility when travelling by air, to which EBU will also reply in due time.
At the end of August, we circulated to our members the third of our series of ‘How To’ campaigning tips memos, focusing on how to adapt the strategy to the context.