Dear readers of our monthly newsletter,

This year is in many ways not “business as usual”. The outbreak of the pandemic and the ongoing fight against the spread of the virus are having an impact on our work at all levels. And while this means adapting our plans all the time, especially when it comes to face-to-face meetings and events, it also offers opportunities such as an increased use of virtual platforms allowing a greater number of people to come together. In this context of uncertainty, and six months after my arrival at EBU, I would like to highlight the following points, as I also look at the final stretch in 2020:

•        On the COVID topic, I am glad to announce that EBU has released its position paper in September. This paper targets both decision-makers and the general public, so it is designed as an awareness-raising document. I hope many of you will find this tool useful and help us with translating it into as many languages as possible. Thanks to our friends in Montenegro who have already done so! Please let Gary (ebuinfocom@euroblind.org) know if you plan to translate and share the translated versions with him, so we can also publish them on our website.

•        As many of you know by now, we had to cancel our annual conference and most likely the meeting of the Liaison Commission in their initially planned format. But this does definitely not mean that they will not take place: both gatherings will be replaced by interesting online sessions and the details will be shared with you shortly. I’d like to thank all those who are investing their time and effort in adapting the programme of those meetings to the new reality.

•        One of our many project activities rewards every year best practices at the national level on a given topic. This year, we looked at accessibility of websites, focusing on the public sector. Whilst thanking those who contributed and whilst congratulating the three prize winners, from Italy, Poland and the Czech Republic (ranked from 3rd to 1st place), I also would like to underline that the participation in this contest was extremely weak. And this despite the uncontested relevance of the topic at stake. I very much hope that this is due to the challenging context of COVID, and not a general trend of low participation in our various project activities, which can only live based on the members’ involvement.

As you will further read in this newsletter, a lot is happening in the area of advocacy and campaigning with great achievements such as on a European Parliament report on employment!

I hope you will enjoy reading this newsletter and share your news items with us for upcoming editions.

Lars Bosselmann

EBU Executive Director