The Lithuanian Presidency 2013 runs from July to December 2013 and is between Ireland and Greece in the current trio. It is Lithuania’s first Presidency since its entry into the EU on 1 May 2004 and also the first Baltic country to take on the post. The EU Presidency is a rotating system among all EU Member States (28 countries since 1 July 2013) and changes every six months. The Member State presently holding the Presidency is the Chair of the Council of the European Union and is responsible for driving forward negations and fostering agreement on certain topics. In this final Presidency before the mandate of both the European Commission and the European Parliament runs out the Lithuanian Presidency will have to manage a densely packed agenda, having to conclude a range of issues from the past years. The Greek Presidency will then focus on and work towards the European Parliament and Commission President elections in May 2014.
The Irish Presidency’s aim to adopt the MFF, the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020, was achieved with the political agreement and the European Parliament voting at the last plenary session in Strasbourg. Nonetheless, Lithuania will be steering the adoption of the over 70 pieces of legislation, which will allow for the funds to be distributed. This will be crucial for EUD’s day-to-day business due to its main grant coming from the European Commission. EUD operates under public EU funding and without the MFF’s full implementation will be unable to continue its successful work at European level, benefitting all Deaf sign language users in Europe.
The Lithuanian Presidency in its programme states it wants to ‘seek progress’ regarding the stalled proposal for a Council Directive on implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation (‘Anti-Discrimination Directive’). However, it will do so only after the Commission’s submission of its recommendations on the Roma integration package. EUD therefore urges the Commission to work on the package but also encourages the Lithuanian Presidency to take action unconditionally, as this Directive is crucial for full and equal citizenship, in particular in this European Year of Citizens (EY2013) .
EUD is pleased to learn that there will be a disability-specific event in conjunction with our European-level umbrella organisation European Disability Forum (EDF) and hopes this conference will help raise awareness of the ongoing issues that Deaf and disabled people face in view of the financial instable economies. Ireland managed to push the MFF and therefore had to leave other pressing issues aside, which EUD hopes will be taken up by the Lithuanian Presidency.
Lithuanian Presidency website:
Programme of the Lithuanian Presidency:
Anti-Discrimination Directive Proposal:
Multiannual Financial Framework:
EUD priorities Irish Presidency (IS and English):
European Year of Citizens (EY2013):