On the 19th of October, EUD followed the online Strategic Dialogue ‘Launching the 2021 European Semester cycle’, organised by the Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion of the European Commission.
The European Commission set out strategic guidance for the implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) in its 2021 Annual Sustainable Growth Strategy (ASGS). The Facility is at the heart of NextGenerationEU, which will provide an unprecedented €672.5 billion of loans and grants. To benefit from the RRF, Member States must submit their draft Recovery and Resilient Plans. In this plans, Member States must address the economic challenges set out in country-specific recommendations of recent years, as well as put forward policies that will enhance economic growth, job creation and economic and social resilience, as well as to meet the green and digital transitions.
The current situation due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic poses a great challenge to economic growth of the European economies. The negative impact of the GDP growth is particularly impactful on southern European countries that were already heavily impacted in the 2008 financial crisis.
In this regard, each EU Member State have to submit a draft Recovery and Resilient Plan (RRP) to the European Commission before the 30th of April 2021. In their draft RRPs, Member States have to explain in detail how they will work towards achieving the political priorities of the European Semester cycle, including the green transition, the digital transition and productivity, fairness and microeconomic stability.
In the preparation of the Recovery and Resilient Plans of the Member States, it is crucial to include a wide variety of stakeholders, including those organisations representing groups at risk of exclusion and/or discrimination. In this regard, National Associations of the Deaf and other organisations of persons with disabilities play a key role, as they can ensure that funds are not allocated to continue discrimination or segregation against persons with disabilities.
In light of this, EUD coordinated with its members to request dialogue with social partners with national governments of all the EU Member States, to ensure that National Associations of the Deaf are included in drafting the RRPs. The full inclusion and engagement with organisations of persons with disabilities becomes essential to ensure that the RRPs are in line with the UN CRPD and principle 17 of the European Pillar of Social Rights.
EUD will continue to coordinate with its members to advocate for the active inclusion and engagement of National Associations of the Deaf in the design of policies to tackle the current crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other future crises.