EU Disability High Level Group meeting
On the 14th of May EUD participated at the EU Disability High Level Group meeting, organised by the European Commission in Brussels.
During the meeting, representatives from Bulgaria, Spain, Norway and Denmark provided with an information on the UN CRPD implementation on the national level and shared with their experiences while reporting to the UN CRPD Committee. Mark Wheatley, EUD Executive Director, took an opportunity to ask the representatives from the Member States whether they fully ensure that all organisations representing people with disabilities, including national associations of the deaf, have a meaningful and accessible way to be consulted and provide with an input to the State Party reports. Mr Wheatley also highlighted that accessible consultation procedure with NGOs and DPOs on the national level is the key when ensuring that the perspectives from all disability groups are reflected during the reporting cycle. The consultation with the organisations representing deaf persons must be available in national sign language(s) and Member States should ensure the availability of sign language interpreters during the public consultations.
During the second half of the meeting, EU latest policy developments were presented. The current state of play of the European Accessibility Act (EAA) was explained, stating that the Act will be soon published in the Official Journal of the EU and the transposition period will start. European Commission encouraged the Member States to work closely with the representatives from the civil society and the officials at the European Commission while transposing the EAA into their national legal systems. Other important topics such as the evaluation of the European Disability Strategy 2010 – 2020, the state of play of the EU Parking Card and the state of play of the European Semester were also discussed. At the end of the meeting the Academic Network of Disability Experts (ANED) gave a presentation on the disability assessment. The presentation was given by the Ms Lisa Waddington, Maastricht University, ANED.
The EU Disability High Level Group meeting was an excellent opportunity to meet the representatives from the Member States and learn the latest developments regarding the EU level initiatives. The next meeting will take place in autumn this year.