We are starting to get organised to produce EBU guidelines on reasonable accommodation at work for visually impaired employees, as a contribution to the implementation of the EU Disability Employment Package – itself an important element of the EU Disability Rights Strategy for this decade. For this we will build on the EBU working group “Rehabilitation, Vocational Training and Employment” and some desk-research by the EBU Secretariat for a start.
The European Parliament own-initiative legislative resolution calling for a reform of the EU Electoral Law is facing opposition at the Council, we are told. We have called our members to give us feedback on their related lobbying action.
The European Social Poverty Network’s report comparing the social protection policies of 35 European countries was published in late December. We circulated it to all our membership, and started analysing its implications for future EBU advocacy. The incoming Swedish Presidency of EU plans to work on a strategy for health and social care, and the forthcoming report of the High-Level Group on the future of social protection and of the welfare state in the EU.
We received from the Commission’s EU Sustainable Development Indicators team a substantial response to our remarks about the EU SDG indicator set 2023 (now final). In reply, as part of our continued advocacy for improved data on people with disabilities, we pointed at the relevant recommendations in the ESPN study.
We explored the potential of referring to the EU Regulation on Conditionality for Access to EU Funds, in our campaign for conditionality in EU funding to the film industry to promote audio description and audio subtitling, in the perspective of Creative Europe/MEDIA mid-term evaluation in 2024. Unfortunately, after careful reading of related Commission guidelines, this regulation does not appear to be relevant as it concerns European structural investment funds.
As part of our effort to monitor and promote the implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty within and outside the EU, we have continued to ask for feedback from our members in the EU about the implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty Directive. We have contributed to the International Federations of Librarian’s Associations annual monitoring report. We have learned that Albania has ratified the Treaty and passed national reform in late 2022 – to which an EBU letter to their minister of justice in June 2022 in concertation with our Albanian member possibly contributed. We are sounding out our member in Turkey about possible action there to activate the process after that the Turkish parliament has decided to ratify the Treaty already in March 2021. About non-EU countries in Europe that have not yet joined the Treaty, it is noteworthy that all except Andorra and Monaco nevertheless already allow libraries to use produce accessible versions of works without having to pay a compensation for rights-holders; instead, it is unclear whether there is an obligation to be registered as authorised entity for that (except the Holy See where there is such obligation).
As part of its effort to produce recommendations for accessible payment terminals, representatives of our ‘Pay-Able’ task-group have met with the company Global Payments, and a meeting is now being sought with the company CCV, one of the leading payment terminal manufacturers in the EU. The outcome of these meetings will allow to refine the existing still very draft recommendations.
After our response to the European Commission’s call for evidence in December, we have successfully recruited and set up an EBU task-group to inform the EBU position in upcoming consultations and advocacy around the future legislative initiative for an EU Disability Card.
We attended the following meetings:
- Info-Session on European Parliament of Persons with Disabilities 2023 (13/01), on which the European Disability Forum intends to build for its Manifesto for the European elections 2024. We informed our members in the EU about liaising with national coordinators for participation through national delegations.
- EU Disability Platform Employment Package subgroup meeting (19/01), where national good practices to facilitate the hiring of persons with disabilities were discussed. We pointed at the practices, among those presented in the European Platform for Rehabilitation and European Disability Expertise reports, that seem most important to us to promote EU-wide.
- Continue to follow and influence the dialogue between CRPD Committee and the EU, in the context of the on-going review of the EU.
- 24/1: recap of our issues and how they played into the CRPD’s list of issues prior to reporting, and suggested strategy.
- EDF coordination meeting (27/01) to prepare the structured dialogue meeting organised by the Commission’s Disability and Inclusion unit (31/01) to inform the EU response to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities list of issues prior to reporting on the EU.