The text approved by the co-legislators in trilogue in December was unanimously approved by the Culture Commission on 11 January and the regulation is expected to be approved in plenary in April 2021 and will be in force from the day of publication in the OJEU.
The European Parliament Rapporteur informed us that the European Commission has started to work on the Work Programme for 2021, which will be formally operational when the regulation enters into force (spring 2021) and eventually implemented by the EACEA.
So, we have started to lobby the Commission so that the provisions of the regulation on inclusion materialise, along the lines of our recommendations, in the 2021 Work Programme and beyond. A letter signed by the Chairman of the Commission for Liaising with the EU was sent on 16 January to the European Commission’s competent units at DG CNECT and EMPL. In that letter, we expanded on our recommendations contained in our position paper of September 2020, to ask that applications which foresee accessibility in their budget get extra points and are prioritised when grants are awarded in general, so that production companies and filmmakers are incentivised to make their works accessible.
We wrote to our member organisation in Norway to enquire about the state of play, and also wrote to the European Commission’s DG CNNECT and the EFTA Secretariat, to enquire about the timeline for bringing EU law into the national legislation of EFTA countries; with no reply so far.
Equality in employment
At the moment of writing these lines, the Employment and Social Affairs committee (EMPL) of the European Parliament was expected to vote, on 27 January, on an own-initiative resolution on the implementation of the Equality in Employment Directive in light of the UNCRPD -- EBU had largely contributed to the report, together with EDF and other disability organisations. The Rapporteur sees a strong consensus at the EP and is confident about the outcome. In the compromise amendments resulting from discussions within EMPL, it is good to observe considerably better wording, from our point of view, on two matters which we thought were being approach with too negative a stand: sheltered workshops and fines when employers fail to respect diversity quotas.
The Plenary is expected to vote in March or more likely April.
A European Disability Forum meeting with European Disability NGOs on 28 January was an opportunity to express our intention to participate fully in any joint action on the following issues:
- Promoting accessible voting at European elections 2024
- Unblocking the Horizontal Anti-Discrimination (also called ‘Equal Treatment’) Directive at the EU Council
- Upgrading the EU Disability Card scheme
Building on the expertise of our Road Safety and Accessibility of Transports group, we started to prepare the EBU participation in the International Transport Forum consultation meeting (online) on 10 February, for stakeholders to contribute in shaping the ITF summit 2021 programme, in Leipzig in May.