Latest updates on our campaigning work

Creative Europe/MEDIA

On 18 and 19 November, in the context of the interinstitutional negotiations on the regulation for the Creative Europe programme for 2021-2027, we sent a joint letter with EDF to key contacts at the European Parliament, including the Disability Intergroup, the Council and the Commission. In the letter, we expressed support for a general clause of inclusion in the article defining the objectives of the programme, on condition that (a) it be strongly worded – we recommended wording – and (b) that it be not to the detriment of some designated and important amendments proposed by the European Parliament that specifically concern persons with disabilities.

This opportunity was used to circulate again and more widely our position paper about EU MEDIA funding to the film industry.

Marrakesh Treaty

Some information about the status of non-EU countries of the European Economic Area: while Switzerland (the only European Free Trade Area country outside the EEA) has signed and ratified the Treaty early on, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are not yet in. There is no automatic spill over effect of EU law to the non-EU countries of the EEA. The EU’s Marrakesh Treaty Directive (2017/1564) therefore needs to be incorporated into the EEA agreement, and we are now past the usual 6 month delay for that process. We invited our members in Iceland and Norway to enquire with their national government and express a sense of urgency.

Together with the Western Balkans country plus Armenia, Turkey and Ukraine, the three non-EU EEA countries count among the few European countries that have not yet joined the Treaty.

Looking beyond Europe, good news: with Turkmenistan joining, the Treaty reached 100 countries covered worldwide.

Accessible lifts

After expressing dismay that we had not been invited by CEN/TC 10/WG 7, the EU standardisation body’s working group that is revising the accessible lifts standard, at their follow-up meeting of 7 October, we were invited to participate in their subsequent meeting (25 November). Unfortunately that invitation came too late to ensure our useful participation, and the object was to enter into very technical details of the already agreed compromise on the issue of the colour contrast of operating buttons. We marked our interest to be involved rather in the meeting where the next important issue will be discussed, i.e. the use of braille.

Equality in employment

We intervened in a video produced by MEP Katrin Langensiepen’s team, to promote the recommendations contained in her report to the European Parliament on the implementation of the Equality in Employment Directive. The draft own-initiative resolution of the European Parliament is expected to be voted on at its EMPL committee in January 2021.

In the meantime, on 19 November, we participated as programmed speakers in a webinar gathering representatives of the three main EU bodies, on the topic: the situation of persons with disabilities in the labour market and what concrete initiatives could be taken at an EU and national level, in connexion with the upcoming post-2020 EU Disability Strategy.

EU Disability Strategy

The European Commission has recently published its evaluation of the currently ending European Disability Strategy. In the conclusions we are happy to read: “a comprehensive framework of statistic indicators covering all the key priority areas of the Strategy is needed to identify gaps, to measure progress in the situation of persons with disabilities in the EU and to set clear targets for the Strategy. In general terms, EU-wide disaggregated data on persons with disabilities would be an important tool for monitoring and evaluating European policies aimed at improving the situation of persons with disabilities.”

On 4 November, we participated in the 3rd of a series of consultation meetings on the European Disability Rights Strategy post-2020.

In this round of consultations, started in October, we particularly focused on the following concerns: recognition of the disability status across the EU (EU Disability Card); access to culture (EU funding to film industry and AD and AST conditionality); gaps of the EAA (public urban transport, built environment, household appliances); accessible voting (EP elections 2024); clarifying the obligation of reasonable accommodation for equality in employment; training in digital skills; EU disaggregated statistics per disability, to monitor the employment gap; the consideration of PWDs in crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Since justice, health and education were also on the agenda, we also made good use of the EBU Statements on the relevant articles of the UNCRPD.

On 11 November there was a round-up meeting in the presence of Commissioner Dalli in which she summarised the main learning of this round of consultations. Our impression is that we and other DPOs were well and widely heard on the orientations of the future EU disability policy, but less so on the necessary institutional arrangements to mainstream disability in EU policy.

The future strategy is expected to be adopted in the first quarter of 2021.

Other consultations by the European Commission

We participated in the following consultation meetings:

  • Workshop on evaluation of Regulation 1107/2066 - air passenger rights (10 November)
  • Strategic Dialogue online meeting "Consultation on the Action Plan for social economy" (10 November)
  • Strategic Dialogue meeting "The Child Guarantee" (26 November)

We responded to the following online consultations:

And we are currently preparing our response to a consultation on the new EU strategy on rights of the child (2021-2024).


  • On 20 November, EBU held (online this year due to the COVID-19 context) its annual meeting of the Commission for Liaising with the EU, where stock was taken of main activities since the last meeting, and priorities for future work were identified.
  • We are preparing our participation in the European Day of Persons with Disabilities 2020 conference (1-2 December)