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Petition Progress!  

EUD

Political groups, the Social Democrats (S&D) and the European People’s Party (EPP), have taken concrete steps in support of EUD’s Petition no.1056/2016 by drafting and submitting two amendments for an EU Parliament Budget report. This petition, submitted in 2016, calls for the possibility for deaf EU citizens to table petitions in their national sign languages. Currently, the lack of possibility to table petitions in national sign languages of the EU, contradicts Articles 9 and 21 of the CRPD, of which the EU is a State Party. 

We have been working hard to progress this petition for the past few months given the lack of progress on it for the past 8 years. Specifically, we have made two statements (November 2023 and March 2024) in the EU Parliament’s Petitions (PETI) Committee and worked with key MEPs to further progress this long overdue petition to become a reality. This would signify a step towards deaf people’s full and equal enjoyment of their right to political participation in the EU. 

Thankfully, as a result, there has been a growing support from the EU Parliament on our position. The most recent development – last week on 11th April 2024, during a plenary session, the EU Parliament adopted the two previously mentioned amendments, in support of our petition, to the Committee on Budget Control (CONT) Report on the discharge (final approval) of the the EU Parliament 2022 Budget. Although this is a non-binding recommendation, it is still very influential and promising for officially implementing the option to table petitions in national sign languages of the EU in the coming legislature. This marks a pivotal moment as the European Parliament has unequivocally endorsed our longstanding request and, as a result, should feel compelled to take action on it. 

Next steps? 

When the new legislature begins, we will continue to advocate for our petition to finally become a reality. The adoption of these two amendments is a first step in the right direction. Next, we will work with the Constitutional Affairs (AFCO) Committee in order to amend the Rules of Procedure (no. 226 (6)) which state that petitions can only be submitted in written form. 

S&D amendment: 

Recalls the deaf community’s 

long-standing demand, since 2016, for the 

ability to submit petitions to Parliament in 

EU national sign languages; stresses that 

the measure would allow the deaf 

community to express their right to 

petition, which is one of the fundamental 

rights of all European citizens, enshrined 

both in the Treaty and in the Charter of 

Fundamental Rights; notes the analysis 

carried on by DG LINC and DG ITEC on 

the most efficient solution with minimal 

cost sent to the Committee of Petitions in 

May 2020; calls on the administration to 

adopt this solution and to facilitate the 

submission of petitions expressed in EU 

national sign languages via the Petitions 

Portal; 

EPP amendment: 

Recalls the deaf community’s 

longstanding demand for the possibility to 

submit petitions in national sign 

languages used within the Union; notes 

the discussions held during the Committee 

of Petitions meeting on 29/11/2023 and 

19/03/2024, specifically addressing 

Petition 1056/2016, and underlines 

Parliament’s commitment to enhancing 

accessibility for all European citizens; 

recalls that the European Parliament’s 

Rules of Procedure require petitions to be 

submitted in written form; calls on 

Parliament’s Administration to implement 

the necessary changes in the Petitions 

Portal in order to enable Petitioners to 

support their written petition with a video 

recorded translation in sign language; 

encourages the Administration to invite 

relevant stakeholders, including 

representatives from the deaf community, 

to provide input and feedback during the 

implementation process to ensure the 

effectiveness and inclusivity of the 

proposed measures; 

  

All the publications from 2022 - 2026 are co-funded by and produced under the European Commission’s Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values (CERV) Programme.

Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Commission’s CERV Programme. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

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