Books - Marrakesh Treaty
Armenia joined the Marrakesh Treaty.
In support to our member in Albania, we sent a letter to the Albanian minister of culture to urge the country to finalise its process of joining the Treaty.
Films – Creative Europe/MEDIA funding
We are preparing a statement, one year after the press release in which we welcomed some positive developments in the first MEDIA calls for proposals in 2021, to deplore that the Creative Europe Regulation 2021-2027 does not appear to be delivering on its promises, despite the stated ambitions of the EU Disability Rights Strategy.
We used the opportunity of the third meeting of the new EU Disability Platform on 27June, where this matter was on the agenda, to announce the flavour.
Accessible payment – implementation of Accessible Act
The kick-off meeting of the task group for accessible payment terminals and other self-service terminals took place on 1st June. As a result: all group members and members of the Commission for Liaising with the EU whose country is not represented in the group were asked to share any work possibly already done in the area of accessible payment terminals (our Czech member has already responded); we circulated the relevant extracts of the Accessibility Act to the group, including Annex I, Section I and related examples of Annex II, which form the basis for elaborating recommendations; and the group leaders will send out some key questions to start the discussions, also with a view to categorizing the areas for input.
On 8 June we participated in the EDF EAA implementation peer support group.
We are preparing a response to a Commission consultation on a sustainable EU food system, to promote accessible packaging of food products.
On 7 June, as members of the Disability Platform’s subgroup on the Employment Package, we responded to the Commission’s consultation on the draft French Ministerial Conference Background Paper, with indication of which EBU policy priority/ies we want to flag as coinciding with one or more of the 6 areas of the Employment Package, and with which activities we could support the Package. The draft joint Commission-Disability Platform Paper also well reflects our input. We participated in the subgroup’s meeting of 16 June, where a joint Commission/Platform statement was approved, as well as a work programme. There will a statement on the matter by the European Council under Czech Presidency of the EU.
Social security and welfare
At the third meeting of the EU Disability Platform, a presentation was made of the comparative study - announced in the EU Disability Rights Strategy and to be published in the next two months - on social benefits for persons with disabilities in Europe. This study will surely inspire our future advocacy.
On 27 June we attended the third meeting of the new EU Disability Platform. Noteworthy, among the various presentations for discussion, were the following:
- A representative of DG EAC presented Creative Europe funding opportunities, in the form of cooperation projects. He referred to the “Time to Act” report on how lack of knowledge in the cultural sector creates barriers for disabled artists and audiences. Regarding how inclusion of persons with disabilities is mainstreamed in MEDIA calls for proposals, he recognised that the approach remained very general and that they “could do better”.
- A representative of DG EMPL spoke of the national employment targets to be set by the EU Member States by 2024 and described the role of the Employment Committee (EMCO) advisory to employment and social affairs ministries. He acknowledged that progress was needed on harmonised and useful data sets, and that the Disability Employment Gap indicator now in place has enough quality to build on for a start.
- A representative of the European Social Protection Network (ESPN) presented the results of the soon-to-be-published comparative study on social benefits for persons with disabilities (see above). To our question, she replied that the study indeed reveals differences so wide between member states that it is unrealistic at this stage to ask them to agree on mutual recognition of disability assessment, but that progressive steps can nevertheless be made in that direction.
On 3 June, as members of the Disability Platform’s subgroup on AccessibleEU, we responded to the request for comments to the Platform’s Secretariat on activities and structure of the future resource centre. On 9 June we participated in the second meeting of the sub-group, and the last one before publication of the call for tenders for AccessibleEU. It clearly results from exchanges with the Commission within the subgroup that the resource centre will be nothing like an agency; it will be essentially a service provider to the Commission, and any liaison with other bodies or with the Platform will be through the Commission.
On 8 June, jointly with EDF, we met with DGs MOVE, IT and CNECT of the European Commission, about accessibility of the “Have Your Say” portal for consultations of stakeholders. We should receive a report of improvements brought recently, to test them out. It was agreed to separate out accessibility requirements under the Web Accessibility Directive (even if not compulsory for EU institutions), which can only meet most common needs, and reasonable accommodation, further. The latter is what is necessary now, for instance the availability of an accessible Word document of the consultation, on demand, until the portal is up to standard.