On 6th June 2023, EUD Policy Manager, Mr Alexandre Bloxs, attended the Loneliness in the European Union: Policies at Work organized by Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (DG EMPL) of the European Commission. The event was organized to launch and promote the recent findings of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) on the impact of loneliness on the people’s mental healthwhich, in turn, impacts their social and economic productivity. Therefore, there is a need to design policies and initiatives mitigating loneliness and its impact. A plenary session took place followed by three parallel sessions, respectively on health, social society and the role of social media.
EUD deemed this event as an opportunity to raise awareness and disseminate its newly published EUD policy recommendations on ensuring the highest standard of health for deaf people[CO1] . During the plenary session, the EUD Policy Manager made a statement highlighting the fact that deaf people are constantly put in situations of loneliness due to the linguistic barriers they are encountering in their societies. Due to their use of the national sign languages and the lack of awareness of these languages among EU Member States, deaf people are facing additional barriers. Furthermore, many deaf people face linguistic deprivation due to a lack of linguistic expositions to the national sign language creating further mental health issues and exacerbated marginalization, leaving deaf people feeling a sense of loneliness. Additionally, EUD raised the question of identifying linguistic differences as well as disability status as a cause of loneliness since the JRC did not use these indicators while surveying the cause of loneliness. The statement was well-received by the organizers and the participants. The European Commission noted the necessity to include disability markers in their upcoming surveys.