As announced in a previous edition of this Newsletter, our campaigning efforts now focus on the Western Balkans, building on the regional dynamic there and the already well-established practice of regional exchange and cooperation for the Marrakesh Treaty campaign objectives. On 13 May we organised an e-workshop which gathered our six member organisations in the region, including our observer member from Kosovo, to take stock of results achieved so far and exchange on experience, needs and available advocacy tools. Albania and Bosnia-Herzegovina have requested EBU support in their advocacy.
EBU is preparing for the CEN/TC 10/WG 7 meeting of July, which will focus on the concerns of visually impaired persons in the revision of the Accessible Lifts standard EN 81-70. In that perspective, we have started to draft a note to WG 7 on the items other than those already listed for discussion, that we want to see considered in the revision of EN 81-70, i.e. touch screens, communication interfaces for alarm systems, etc. We will also need to push our views regarding braille and hearing-enhancement systems, and secure the reasonable agreement found within WG 7 on the contrast of signs on control devices.
We have started to make contacts at the European Commission about the proposed Regulation on the Creative Europe programme for 2021-2027, as part of preparing our position paper regarding the sub-programme MEDIA.
COVID-19 pandemic response
On 30 April we attended the first meeting (online) of the re-established Disability Intergroup of the European Parliament: “Impact of COVID-19 outbreak to persons with disabilities”; and on 18 May we participated in the EDF Webinar on Human Rights violations of persons with disabilities during COVID-19.
Besides relaying World Blind Union and EDF surveys on the matter, we have sent out our own survey to our full membership on 26 May.
Rail passengers’ rights
We relayed to our national member organisations a European Disability Forum (EDF) request to act on the ongoing recast of the 2007 EU Regulation on Rail Passengers Rights and Obligations, as the negotiations between the EU institutions enter their final round and are expected to reach an agreement under the Croatian Presidency of the EU in the second half of June. In particular, in the countries opposing a significant lowering of the 48 hour pre-notification time for assistance for persons with disabilities, we asked our member to send a message to their ministries of transport and to their allies in the government.