Campaign Updates

Creative Europe/MEDIA

On 16 June we issued a press release to welcome the progress observed in the first calls for proposals under the Creative Europe Programme for 2021-2027, which show some very positive developments for persons with a visual impairment.

The call for proposals ‘Films on the Move’ underlines that the MEDIA strand shall provide support namely for encouraging the use of subtitling, dubbing and where applicable, audio description tools. It further indicates that “special attention will be given to applications presenting adequate strategies to ensure gender balance, inclusion, diversity and representativeness”. This counts for up to 5 of 45 points in the award criteria for relevance. By comparison, similar calls under the previous period of the Programme did not mention inclusion in the award criteria.

A similar approach is taken in the calls for proposals ‘Tv and online content’ and ‘Audience Development and Film education’, albeit without explicit mention of audio description. Also noteworthy is the call for proposals ‘Networks of European Cinemas ’which, among expected results, includes adjusting the business practices of European cinema theatres in terms of inclusion.

We see it as a concrete and encouraging result of our campaigning for MEDIA funding to the film industry to promote equal access to culture for persons with visual disabilities.

We were invited by the Head of the Unit of the Audiovisual Industry and Media Support Programmes at DG CNNECT of the European Commission, to a meeting (25 June) to update civil society organisations on the diversity and inclusiveness policy development and support activities for 2021 and beyond. The meeting was presented as “an occasion to exchange practices and priorities and find where possible synergies to strengthen our policies and common messages.” Feedback on this meeting will follow in the next newsletter.

Marrakesh Treaty

On 11 June the government of Montenegro tabled the draft law for the ratification of the Treaty. It is expected that the Parliament will in turn adopt it in the fall.

European Accessibility Act

We contributed initial comments to ANEC on the draft European Commission mandate – in fact an implementing decision with annexes – to EU standardisation organisations to produce harmonised standards for the implementation of the EAA.

In the context of an EDF meeting, we also conveyed our main messages to the Commission representative. In particular, we welcomed the following indications in the draft:

“The work [of drafting new or revising existing harmonised standards] shall ensure inclusiveness of persons with disabilities and their representative organisations. The work processes, meetings venues and documents shall be accessible for persons with disabilities.”

“The harmonised standards shall be available free of charge for non-profit organisations.”

This is a positive response to our advocacy for more inclusiveness and transparency, jointly with EDF. But it is just a draft, which need support.

Accessible lifts and other standards

We have continued to liaise with ANEC, to contribute comments on their position paper on the technical revision of the EU standard for accessibility to lifts (EN 81-70:2018).

The EU standardization body CEN is currently developing a European standard on tactile lettering. A good number of EBU national members are part of the respective working group “CEN/TC 293/WG 13) as representatives of their countries. That working group started its deliberations recently.

Web Accessibility Directive

EDF was consulted by the European Commission on the draft survey question of an upcoming public consultation on the application of the WAD, and we were given the opportunity to comment on these.


An EU agreement was found at the end of May, on the EU digital COVID certificate, which eventually, after shortcomings in the initial version, includes provisions on accessibility for persons with disabilities.

The Portuguese Presidency’s council conclusions on the European Disability Rights Strategy are disappointing. The Council should have gone further into detail on the provisions that concern the Member States and the Council as an institution. Instead, the Council Conclusions (Conclusions) remain superficial and do not contain many specific commitments on the implementation of the Strategy.


We attended the following events:

  • The EDF Accessibility Summit: 'Accessibility and the Future of Work: The Role of Digital' (1-2 June).
  • The periodical EDF-ENGO coordination meeting (10 June), to discuss the Conference on the Future of Europe and also to share news on our respective activities.
  • The European Commission Strategic Dialogue meeting on the European Bauhaus initiative (10 June). We are looking into how to participate.
  • The EDF workshop on access to health (15 June).
  • The second meeting of the EDF European Accessibility Act Peer Support Group (21 June). A representative of the European Commission presented the draft mandate to European standardisation organisations for harmonised standards for the implementation of the EAA (see above).