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EDF CALLS ON MEPs TO VOTE FOR THE RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DISABILITY INTERGROUP
19 November 2014 | Members of the European Parliament will vote on 24-26 November to decide which intergroups will exist in 2014-2019. EDF urges them to re-create the EP DisabilityIntergroup.

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EU OMBUDSMAN COMMITS TO WORK ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
Brussels, 12 November 2014 | On 11 November 2014, EDF President Yannis Vardakastanis met the European Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, to discuss future cooperation on the implementation of the rights of persons with disabilities in all EU policies.

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EDF CALLS ON THE EU TO MEET THE NEW CHALLENGES OF THE NEXT PERIOD FOR CITIZENS WITH DISABILITIES
Brussels, 9 November 2014 | This weekend, EDF Board meeting gathered together representatives from organisations of persons with disabilities around Europe. The meeting opened by EDF President, Yannis Vardakastanis, followed by the Head of Unit on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities of the European Commission, Maria Luisa Cabral. EDF has adopted measures in order to prepare the disability movement to fully participate in the new political period opened in the European Union after the European elections and the renewed European Commission.

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EU EQUAL TREATMENT LAW: WE'VE BEEN WAITING TOO LONG!
Brussels, 6 November 2014 – As high-level EU Member States’ representatives meet today to discuss how to make equality a reality for all, equality and anti-discrimination organisations call on them to show a real commitment to equality by finally adopting an EU law on equal treatment.

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PUBLIC HEARINGS OF CANDIDATE COMMISSIONERS: WHAT ARE THEIR PRIORITIES?
MEPs are currently meeting in public hearings the 27 candidate commissioners designated by their countries, with a view to evaluate their competences in their area of responsibilities and to know what their 5 years priorities are.

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OFFICIAL LAUNCH OF EUROPE+ ALLIANCE
Brussels, 08 July 2014 | Today, Europe+ is being officially launched at the European Parliament. A European Alliance which brings over 40 organisations from civil society and trade unions including EDF; calling for democratic change in the EU; promoting contructive dialogue between civil society and the Europen institutions. EDF will be present and represented by the Director, Ms. Carlotta Besozzi.

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TWO YEARS OF EDF CHAIRING THE INTERNATIONAL DISABILITY ALLIANCE
Brussels, 2 July 2014 | EDF is a proud founding member of the International Disability Alliance (IDA) and EDF President, Yannis Vardakastanis, has been the first elected chair of its governing body over a mandate of the last two years. During this period, EDF together with the rest 11 regional and global organisations proudly followed the whole development of IDA, as a collective success, from an informal alliance to a real organisation, which is now able to influence the political action at international level.

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7TH SESSION OF THE CONFERENCE OF STATES PARTIES TO THE CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
New York, 10-12 June 2014 | The 7th session of the Conference of States Parties to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) took place on 10-12 June 2014. Prior to this, the Civil Society Forum was coordinated by the International Disability Alliance (IDA) in partnership with Disability Rights Fund, Human Rights Watch, International Disability and Development Consortium and Rehabilitation International. The Civil Society Forum gathered over 200 civil society participants and Member State delegations under the theme: ‘Towards an Inclusive Post-2015 Agenda’.

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EU PUBLISHED ITS FIRST REPORT ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE UN CONVENTION
Brussels, 6 June 2014 | On 5 June 2014, the European Union published its first report on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD). The EU ratified the Convention in 2010 making it the first international human rights treaty ever ratified by a regional organisation like the European Union. The EU has the obligation to prepare and submit a report on the actions it took to give effect to the Convention. Considering this as a historic moment for the rights of persons with disabilities, EDF welcomes the publication of the EU report as an evolving and dynamic process to which it would like to contribute by sharing the clear and structured view of 80 million persons with disabilities.

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WEB ACCESSIBILITY: NO MORE TIME TO WASTE! IF NOT NOW, WHEN?
Brussels, 5 June 2014 | This Friday 6 of June the Transport, Telecommunication and Energy Council will meet and discuss the state of play of the Web Directive. Unfortunately, during the last two presidencies of the EU, there has been no further progress on the Proposal for a Directive on the Accessibility of Public Sector Bodies’ Websites in Council. EDF wants to see the forthcoming Telecommunications Council conclusions include a clear political commitment to ensure rapid progress on this Directive during the forthcoming Italian Presidency. This would make a real difference to 80 million Europeans with disabilities.

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EU ELECTIONS 2014: IT’S TIME TO VOTE FOR INCLUSION
Brussels, 23 May 2014 | The European elections have started. The first polling stations opened yesterday in a couple of EU Member States and the rest of Europe will vote in an election that that will spread until Sunday evening. Europeans are called to elect their 751 Members of the European Parliament. The European Disability Forum (EDF) calls on European citizens with disabilities to go out and cast their ballot. Participation in political life is at the heart of democracy.

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DISABILITY PERSPECTIVE IN EU COHESION POLICY: EU OMBUDSMAN INVESTIGATES PROTECTION OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS IN THE PREPARATION OF THE PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENTS
The European Ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly, has initiated an investigation concerning the respect for fundamental rights in the EU's cohesion" policy. The Ombudsman has received many complaints in the area of fundamental rights and is investigating on the Commission's role in ensuring that the EU funding is used in ways that comply with the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

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THE DISABILITY MOVEMENT CALLS FOR THE ACTIVE PARTICIPATION OF ORGANISATIONS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE UN CONVENTION
Zagreb, 18 May 2014 | The European conference on ‘Monitoring the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in practice’ brought together more than 200 individuals from the disability movement all around Europe, the Croatian authorities, as well as representatives of European organisations and the Commission. Organised by EDF in cooperation with its Croatian members, SOIH, in the frame of EDF’s Annual General Assembly, the European conference opened a dialogue between national and European organisations of persons with disabilities concerning their view on the upcoming EU report to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

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SURVEY ON PASSENGERS’ RIGHTS: EDF WANTS TO HEAR YOUR STORIES
Denied boarding because of your disability? Damaged wheelchair? No accessible information at the train station? EDF is currently doing a small survey to identify the problems existing in different countries concerning passengers’ rights.

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MILLIONS OF EUROPEANS WITH DISABILITIES EXCLUDED FROM THEIR RIGHT TO VOTE
Brussels, 9 May 2014 | Today, on the day of Europe, less than two weeks before the European elections, EDF deplores that millions of persons with disabilities are being excluded from their right to vote. EDF calls on the EU and the Members States to remove restrictions preventing citizens with disabilities from enjoying their right to vote and to stand as candidate, guaranteed by EU Treaties, the EU Charter and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD).

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EUROPEAN YEAR OF CITIZENS ALLIANCE CALLS ON THE FUTURE PRESIDENT OF THE COMMISSION TO PROMOTE ACTIVE CITIZENSHIP
EDF is a member of the steering committee of the European Year of Citizens Alliance (EYCA), an open network of European and national civil society organisations willing to promote active citizenship as a core element of the European democracy in the frame of the European Year of Citizens 2013. EYCA addressed the candidates for the presidency of the European Commission asking for their commitment to take concrete proposals to ensure a more social, renewed Europe with the active participation of European citizens.

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FUTURE PRESIDENT OF THE COMMISSION, WHAT WILL YOU DO FOR 80 MILLION EUROPEANS WITH DISABILITIES?
Brussels, 30 April 2014 | EDF has addressed the leading candidates nominated by the European poltical parties as candidates for the presidency of the European Commission – Jean Claude Juncker (EPP), Martin Schulz (Socialist), Guy Verhofstadt (ALDE), Ska Keller/José bové (Greens) and Alexis Tsipras (European Left).

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WORLD AUTISM DAY: EMPLOYMENT IS MORE THAN JUST A JOB FOR PEOPLE WITH AUTISM
Studies have shown that between 76 and 90 per cent of adults with autism are unemployed. This is one of the many reasons why World Autism Awareness Day was declared by the UN General Assembly as an annual day to draw attention to the urgent needs of people with autism around the world.

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EU ELECTIONS 2014: JOINING FORCES TO MOBILISE EU CITIZENS
European Parliament elections are the periodical momentum to test both politicians’ and citizens’ engagement and capacity to debate on how best shape our societies and improve European integration for the benefit of all. In the light of the democratic crisis and growing mistrust towards the European Union, it is of utmost importance to mobilise EU citizens to go to vote in May, said panellists from AGE, COFACE, ILGA Europe, EWL, ENAR, EDF, EAPN, AEGEE and Eurochild during a joint event on 18 March at the European Parliament hosted by Claude Moraes MEP.

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EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS’ INCREASES ITS RECOGNITION OF UN CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
On 6 February 2014, the European Court of Human Rights came out with a positive judgment in the case of Semikhvostov v Russia (Application no 2689/12) in which EDF and the International Disability Alliance (IDA) had submitted a third party intervention to the Court in January 2013.

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EDF CALLS ON THE EU TO PROTECT WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES FROM DISCRIMINATION
Brussels, 7 March 2014 | Despite the progress that has been made for the empowerment of women in today’s society, women still face discrimination based on their gender. Women with disabilities have to also face discrimination for their disability. On tomorrow’s occasion of the International Women’s Day 2014, EDF calls on the EU to protect women with disabilities from all forms of discrimination and to ensure gender equality.

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IDA'S CONFERENCE ON POST-2015 DEVELOPMENT AGENDA AND THE UN CRPD IN AFRICA JUST STARTED IN NAIROBI
Nairobi, Kenya, 6 March 2014 | In his capacity as IDA Chair, EDF President Yannis Vardakastanis, opened today in Nairobi, Kenya, IDA's conference aiming to deepen dialogue between national, regional and global organisations of persons with disabilities (DPOs). The three-day event aims to strengthen advocacy amongst DPOs in order to promote inclusive development in the future global development framework.

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EDF REACTION TO THE DECISION OF FRANCE TO FURTHER POSTPONE THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NATIONAL LAW ON ACCESSIBILITY
Brussels, 3 March 2014 | The European Disability Forum (EDF) is concerned about the decision of the French government to further postpone for another 3 to 9 years the implementation of its law for the accessibility of services and public spaces. The French law of 11 February 2005 was foreseeing that all public spaces, houses and transport would become accessible before 1 January 2015 but this deadline will not be met.

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EDF, AGE PLATFORM EUROPE & ANEC URGE THE COUNCIL TO SUPPORT THE PARLIAMENT’S POSITION ON WEB ACCESSIBILITY
26 February 2014 | Today Members of the European Parliament have shown their strong commitment to a more inclusive Internet for all. The Parliament’s report on the proposal for a Directive on the Accessibility of Public Sector Bodies’ Websites has introduced extremely valuable changes to the Commission proposal. Unfortunately, the Council is lagging behind and has not started the negotiations on this important piece of legislation yet. EDF, Age Platform Europe and Anec call on all Member States, and especially the Greek Presidency, to prioritize this dossier and endorse the Parliament’s position.

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EDF CALLS FOR THE FULL IMPLEMANTATION OF THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES THROUGH STRUCTURAL FUNDS
Athens, 22 February 2014 | EDF Board meeting gathered together representatives from EDF member organisations around Europe. The first of the two days of the meeting opened with a European conference focusing on the implementation of the rights of persons with disabilities and structural funds.

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THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT ENDORSES EDF MANIFESTO’S KEY PRIORITIES
Brussels, 12 February 2014 | On 11 February 2014, EDF presented its manifesto on the EU elections 2014 at the European Parliament. The event was organised in cooperation with the European Parliament Disability Intergroup and gathered a lot of MEPs; all of them expressed their full endorsement to the key priorities of EDF manifesto.

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EDF - MICROSOFT EVENT ON NEW SKILLS FOR NEW JOBS
The European Disability Forum and Microsoft share a commitment to finding new ways to strengthen e-skills and facilitating the creation of new jobs. Achieving these goals can be helped through a dialogue among EU institutions, the private sector, and citizens in order to ensure that all existing and new employment opportunities are open to persons with disabilities.

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A POST-2015 DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK INCLUSIVE OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
New York, 6 February 2014 /// In his capacity as chair of the International Disability Alliance (IDA), EDF President, Yannis Vardakastanis, addressed UN Member States, UN agencies and civil society at the UN Headquarters in New York, calling for a post-2015 sustainable development agenda that is inclusive of persons with disabilities.

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A HISTORIC OPPORTUNITY FOR PEOPLE IN INSTITUTIONAL CARE: EU FUNDS MUST BE USED TO DEVELOP COMMUNITY-BASED ALTERNATIVES IN 2014-2020
Statement from the European Expert Group on the Transition from Institutional to Community-Based care

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ROMA, LGBT, ANTI-RACIST, DISABILITY AND JEWISH ORGANISATIONS STAND TOGETHER ON INTERNATIONAL HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY
27 January 2014 | On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the European population recalls the genocide perpetrated by the Nazi regime and its allies of millions of Jews and Roma, and the massacre of tens of thousands that did not fit the Nazi ideology, including persons with disabilities, Jehovah's witnesses, homosexuals, and political opponents.

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ON THE WAY TO THE EUROPEAN ELECTIONS THE DISABILITY MOVEMENT VOTES FOR INCLUSION
EDF brings the rights of persons with disabilities in New Europe’s special issue on the state of our world among the contributions of 100 leaders from politics, business, civil society and academia.

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IT’S ABOUT US, IT’S ABOUT EUROPE: EYCA’S FINAL REPORT ON ACTIVE CITIZENSHIP IS OUT!
The European Year of Citizens 2013 closed with a conference which took place on 12-13 December in Vilnius, Lithuania. During the conference, EYCA presented its final report with its recommendations towards EU institutions, EU Member States and other stakeholders.

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JUST ADOPTED: EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT REPORT ON WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES
The disability movement welcomes the adoption today of the European Parliament’s report on women with disabilities, which took on board all of its recommendations.

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MOBILE FOR GOOD EUROPE AWARDS: APPLICATION WHICH ENABLES COLOUR-BLIND USERS TO UNDERSTAND COLOURS & INFORMATION BASED ON COLOURS WINS 30.000€ AWARD
6 December 2013 | On 5 December 2013, the Vodafone Foundation announced the four winners of the 2013 Mobile for Good Europe Awards. Organised by Vodafone Foundation, the European Disability Forum and AGE Platform Europe, these awards recognise transformational apps designed to improve people's lives, deliver substantial public benefit and stimulate thinking of how mobile technology can improve the delivery of public services for society.

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ACCESSIBLE TOURISM IN THE HEART OF THIS YEAR'S EUROPEAN DAY OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
Tourism is an important source of growth for the economy in Europe, representing today 1.8 million businesses and approximately 9.7 million jobs. However, travelling can still be a real challenge for some people as finding the information on services, checking luggage on a plane, booking an accessible room often prove to be difficult, costly and time consuming.

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A NEED FOR A MEDITERRANEAN AGENDA ON HUMAN RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
Madrid, 23 November 2013 | On 22-23 November, the 'Euro Mediterranean Conference on the Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities' in Madrid brought together participants from 18 countries of the Mediterranean region.

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THE DISABILITY MOVEMENT CALLS FOR AN INCLUSIVE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Vilnius, 16-17 November 2013 | The disability movement met this weekend in Vilnius, Lithuania gathering together representatives of its member organisations all around Europe, as well as representatives of the Lithuanian Republic and European institutions. On the first day of the Board meeting, a European conference took place focusing on: 'Disability and sustainable development. A perspective from the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities'.

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EUROPEAN ACCESSIBILITY ACT: EDF CALLS ON THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION TO DELIVER A LEGISLATIVE PROPOSAL ON THE ACCESSIBILITY OF GOODS AND SERVICES
Brussels, 11 November 2013 | The disability movement met with the Vice President of the European Commission, Viviane Reding to discuss the actions that the Commission is taking on the implementation of the rights of persons with disabilities and the upcoming European Accessibility Act. Ms Reding expressed the European Commission’s commitment to the preparation of the legislative proposal of the Act.

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WHERE DO WE STAND WITH THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE UN CONVENTION IN THE EU?
Brussels, 25 October 2013 | The 2013 Work Forum is concluding today after two days of sharing experiences and discussing the challenges that the Member States have to face when it comes to the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD).

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TIME FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF THE UN CONVENTION IN THE BALKANS AND TURKEY
Istanbul, 11 October 2013 /// The international conference on “Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the Balkans and Turkey” concluded in Istanbul after a 3-day interactive dialogue and exchange of best practice on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD). Organised by the European Disability Forum, People 2 People Programme and UNICEF as a partner, the conference gathered representatives of the European and international disability movement, the European Commission and the UN CRPD Committee.

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DISABILITY AND DEVELOPMENT AT THE CORE OF THE UN HIGH LEVEL MEETING IN NEW YORK
New York, 23 September 2013 | The UN General Assembly held a High-Level Meeting on disability and development at the UN headquarters, with statements from over 50 Member States, UN Agencies and civil society. In his capacity as Chair of the International Disability Alliance (IDA), EDF President, Yannis Vardakastanis, spoke on behalf of persons with disabilities at the opening of the meeting.

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MUSAWA II: THE FIRST ARAB DEAF REGIONAL CONFERENCE TOOK PLACE IN TUNIS
On 6 – 7 September, the Arab Organisation of Persons with Disabilities (AOPD) and the European Disability Forum (EDF) organised in Tunis “The First Regional Conference of Arab Deaf Persons: To Promote Human Rights for Deaf Persons in the Arab World”. The conference took place in the frame of the Musawa II Project gathering not only the regional representation of deaf persons of the Arab Countries but also leaders within the international movement of deaf persons.

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EDF PRESIDENT GOT ELECTED AS CHAIR OF THE INTERNATIONAL DISABILITY ALLIANCE
The first board meeting of the International Disability Alliance (IDA) after its legal incorporation on 7 June 2013 took place in New York on 13-15 July, prior to the Conference of State Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. One of the main issues of the agenda of the meeting was the elections to the different Executive Officer positions of its Board. EDF President, Yannis Vardakastanis, got elected as Chair of IDA. The rest of the positions in IDA Board were covered by: First Vice-Chair, Maryanne Diamond (Immediate Past President, World Blind Union); Second Vice-Chair, Colin Allen (Chair, World Federation of the Deaf); Third Vice-Chair, Nawaf Kabbara (President, Arab Organization of Disabled People); Treasur

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LAST UPDATE! UN CONFERENCE OF STATE PARTIES: EDF REPORTS LIVE FROM NEW YORK
On 13-19 July 2013, disability clocks are beating on New York time. The Sixth Session of the Conference of State Parties to the CRPD (the so called COP) is taking place at the UN Headquarters gathering the attention of the disability movement worldwide. Over the Conference of State Parties, there are lots of important meetings and side events, on which EDF will report regularly from the UN.

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OPEN LETTER TO EU HEADS OF STATES & GOVERNMENTS: NEARLY 100 EUROPEAN AND NATIONAL NGOs JOIN FORCES TO CALL FOR A PROPERLY FUNDED ‘EUROPE FOR CITIZENS’ PROGRAMME
The EU supports citizens by co-funding civil society organisations’ general budgets and specific projects through the ‘Europe for Citizens’ programme. While the EU celebrates the European Year of Citizens in 2013, it is necessary to have a properly funded ‘Europe for Citizens’ programme to truly support the role of civil society organisations.

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WIPO TREATY BECOMES A REALITY TO ALLOW BOOKS PORDUCED IN FORMATS ACCESSIBLE BY BLIND PERSONS
On 27 June 2013, the UN World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) concluded a Treaty on copyright for the visual impaired and print disable. This was the first intellectual property treaty benefitting the public interest rather than the interest of rights holders and closed nearly five years of hard negotiation by the World Blind Union and other NGOs. Currently, copyright law is a national jurisdiction which has the effect of preventing blind organizations from sharing books with neighbouring countries, thus causing considerable unnecessary duplication of production of books in accessible formats.

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A HISTORICAL DAY FOR THE DISABILITY MOVEMENT WORLDWIDE: THE INTERNATIONAL DISABILITY ALLIANCE BECOMES A LEGAL ENTITY
Geneva, 7 June 2013 /// 7th of June is a historical day for the disability movement worldwide: The International Disability Alliance (IDA) has been legally incorporated following its constitutive General Assembly in Geneva. EDF is proud of being a founding member of IDA and of currently chairing its governing body.

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EP POLITICAL GROUPS JOIN FORCES TO SUPPORT PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
Brussels, 5 June 2013 /// On 5 June, the leaders of the main political Groups in the European Parliament announced strong action to support the rights of persons with disabilities in Europe.

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European Launch of the UNICEF Report "The State of the World's Children Report 2013: children with Disatilities"
Brussels, 30 May 2013 /// This year's UNICEF report focuses on: the State of the World's Children Report 2013: Children with Disabilities. It will provide an excellent occasion to move higher in the political EU agenda the discussion on the children with disability rights mainstreaming in EU internal and external policies as well as the challenges and opportunities provided by the EU's ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. EDF will be present and represented by its Vice-President, Ms Donata Vivanti.

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THE EUROPEAN DISABILITY MOVEMENT CALLS FOR A SOCIAL WAY OUT OF THE CRISIS
Athens, 26 May 2013 /// On 25-26 May 2013, EDF’s Annual General Assembly took place in Athens, Greece, gathering hundreds of leaders from its member organisations all around Europe. This year’s meeting focused on the situation of persons with disabilities and the crisis, as well as the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) at National and EU level. It was also marked by the renewal of EDF’s governing bodies and the re-election of Yannis Vardakastanis as EDF President.

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ARAB & EUROPEAN WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES JOIN FORCES TO CLAIM FOR THEIR RIGHTS
On 27-28 April 2013, the European Disability Forum and the Arab Organisation of Persons with Disabilities gathered in Cairo, more than 120 female leaders with disabilities at the Arab regional conference entitled: "Women with Disabilities between Rights and Norms”.

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WEB ACCESSIBILITY: EDF EXPRESSES THE VIEW OF 80 MILLION PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES AT THE MEETING OF THE EP COMMITTEE OF THE INTERNAL MARKET
On 25 April 2013, the European disability movement was invited to participate in the meeting of the European Parliament Committee of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection. As it’s exceptional for Committees to invite or accept external actors in their meetings, EDF embraced this invitation as a good opportunity to bring the perspective of 80 million persons with disabilities on the accessibility of public websites in the European Parliament in Brussels.

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EUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICE TAKES AN IMPORTANT DECISION FOR EMPLOYEES WITH DISABILITIES
On Thursday 11 April 2013, the European Court of Justice took an important judgment in Joined Cases C-335/11 and C-337/11 Ring and Skouboe Werge. EDF welcomes the European Court’s judgment considering it as a very important one for the rights of persons with disabilities in the workplace.

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WEB ACCESSIBILITY DIRECTIVE: THIS IS WHAT THE DISABILITY MOVEMENT EXPECTS
Brussels, 11 March 2013 /// On 3 December 2012, the European Commission released a legislative proposal on the accessibility of public websites addressing public sector bodies’ websites, such as those of municipality services, those for income taxes declaration, job search services, education, health related services, etc. Having analysed and scrutinised the proposal, EDF presents its view on the proposal and its proposal for changes to make web accessibility a reality for 80 million of European citizens with disabilities.

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EDF CALLS FOR EQUAL RIGHTS FOR WOMEN & GIRLS WITH DISABILITIES
Brussels, 8 March 2013 /// The International Women’s Day 2013 finds Europe at a stage where significant efforts have been made in terms of gender equality and empowerment of women in society. However, discrimination against women still exists and Europe often fails to protect the rights of its female citizens. Women with disabilities, in particular, have to deal with a double challenge: the discrimination they often face for their gender, and the discrimination they face due to their disability. On today’s occasion, EDF calls the EU to take measures to promote gender equality and to empower the active participation of women with disabilities in society.

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UN CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES: IT’S TIME FOR IRELAND!
Dublin, 24 February 2013 /// The European Disability Forum (EDF) and the Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) call on the Irish Government to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the implementation plan for the National Disability Strategy without any further delay.

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WEB ACCESSIBILITY IN THE HEART OF THE DISABILITY MOVEMENT’S MEETING IN IRELAND
20 February 2013 /// In the framework of EDF’s Board meeting taking place in Dublin, Ireland, on 23-24 February, EDF and Disability Federation Ireland (DFI) in cooperation with the National Disability Authority of Ireland, organise a seminar entitled: ‘Accessibility of Public Websites – legislative and practical perspectives’.

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EUROPEAN ACCESSIBILITY ACT: THIS IS WHAT THE DISABILITY MOVEMENT EXPECTS!
13 February 2013 /// In the framework of the EDF Top Campaign on the theme of “Freedom of Movement”, one of our objectives has been to promote the adoption of an ambitious and legally binding European Accessibility Act. In these terms, EDF welcomes the European Commission’s initiative to issue an Act and presents the views of the disability movement on this upcoming European Accessibility Act.

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LAST UPDATE! THE PARISIAN COURT OF APPEAL CONFIRMS EASY JET’S CONDAMNATION FOR THE DISCRIMINATION OF THE 3 DISABLED PASSENGERS
6 February 2013 /// On 5 February 2013, the Court of Appeal of Paris confirmed the condemnation of the British low-cost airline Easy Jet for the discrimination of 3 disabled passengers in 2008 and 2009. The French organisation representing persons with disabilities, ‘Association des Paralysés de France (APF)' and EDF welcome this decision as a very important outcome to raise awareness of such incidents, as well as of the need to ensure full implementation of the EU regulations.

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TOWARDS BETTER ACCESSIBILITY OF TRANSPORT SERVICES
Brussels, January 2013 /// EDF joins forces with AGE Platform Europe, Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) and European Passengers’ Federation (EPF) in order to express their common views on the upcoming European Accessibility Act.

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ROMA, LGBT AND DISABILITY ORGANISATIONS STAND TOGETHER ON INTERNATIONAL HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY
27 January 2013 /// On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the European Roma and Travellers Forum (ERTF), European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC), Roma Virtual Network (RVN), the European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA – Europe) and the European Disability Forum (EDF) call on national governments and inter-governmental organisations to ensure the safety of all minorities who are targets for Europe’s extremists.

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SMART ACCESSIBILITY AWARDS: DEVELOPER WHO DESIGNED APP TO HELP FIVE-YEAR-OLD AUTISTIC SON COMMUNICATE WINS €50,000 AWARD
18 December /// Spanish app developer Juan Carlos Gonzalez Montesino last night won the ‘Wellbeing’ category in the Vodafone Foundation’s Smart Accessibility Awards for an app he created to help his five-year-old autistic son Darío communicate. Ablah, an app Montesino co-developed with Manuel Linares, is based on the exchange of images, sounds and text via touch screen devices.

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3rd EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES: A HISTORIC EVENT AT THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
5 December 2012 /// On the 5th of December, more than 450 delegates from organisations representing persons with disabilities (DPOs) from all over Europe met with European Parliament leaders, MEPs and EU decision-makers in order to discuss how Europe can ensure the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities in this time of crisis.

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EDF & MICROSOFT TEAM UP TO ENHANCE ACCESSIBILITY OF THE WEB FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
Access conditions for persons with disabilities to websites and the digital environment need to be further improved while securing a sustainable business environment for the ICT industry. On 6th December, the European Disability Forum (EDF) and Microsoft join forces to gather key actors to plan the way forward towards a more inclusive web and IT goods and services.

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COMMISSION TAKES A STEP TOWARDS WEB ACCESSIBILITY FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
3 December 2012 /// Today the European Commission released a legislative proposal on the accessibility of public websites. Once adopted by the European Parliament and by the Council, it will allow, by 2015, Europeans with disabilities to have equal access to information on websites and benefit from services provided online.

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EDF CALLS FOR AN END TO VIOLENCE AGAINST OLDER WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES
27 November 2012 /// In the framework of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November, during the European Year of Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations, the European Disability Forum (EDF) joins the struggle against all forms of violence, to which thousands of women in the European Union and worldwide fall victim. To this end, during its Board meeting in Cyprus on 17-18 November, EDF adopted a resolution calling for an end to violence against older women with disabilities and for appropriate measures to eliminate such violence.

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THE DISABILITY MOVEMENT CALLS FOR SOCIAL INVESTMENTS TO PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES FROM THE CRISIS
Cyprus, 18 November 2012 /// On 17-18 November 2012, the European disability movement gathered at Ayia Napa, Cyprus, for EDF’s Board meeting thanks to the support of Cyprus EU Presidency. Representatives of its member organisations all around Europe, as well as representatives of the Cyprus Republic and the European Parliament discussed the steps to be taken towards a more inclusive and accessible Europe. During the meeting, EDF adopted a Statement on the crisis in view of the upcoming European Council on 22-23 November 2012.

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THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT PUSHES TOWARDS A SEAMLESS TRAVEL CHAIN FOR ALL TRANSPORT USERS
24 October 2012 /// On 23 October 2012, the European Parliament adopted a Resolution in reaction to the Communication of the European Commission on passenger rights in all transport modes. EDF welcomed the initial Communication and supported the Commission’s vision of coherent legislations on passenger rights across modes, based on an intermodal approach. EDF is now pleased to see that the Resolution shows the commitment of the European Parliament to remove the lack of harmonized rules between transport modes, which still prevents persons with disabilities from benefitting from the freedom of movement within the EU.

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CER & EDF JOIN FORCES TO ENHANCE ACCESSIBILITY OF RAIL FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
9 October 2012 /// Access conditions for persons with reduced mobility to transport as a whole need to be further improved while securing a sustainable business environment for the rail sector. This was the main message of a conference organised today by the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER), and co-moderated by the European Disability Forum (EDF), on the accessibility of rail transport for disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility. CER and EDF called upon stakeholders to strengthen their cooperation focusing all means and resources to help reaching the objectives.

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THE DISABILITY MOVEMENT CALLS ON THE COMMISSION’S DIRECTORS GENERAL TO MAINSTREAM THE CRPD IN ALL EU POLICIES
4 October 2012 /// Disability is a cross-cutting issue, which should be mainstreamed in all EU policies. In these terms, EDF met today the Secretary General of the European Commission, Mrs Catherine Day, and the Directors General of the European Commission.

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EUROPEAN CITIZEN'S INITIATIVE 1 000 000 SIGNATURES: 5 YEARS LATER
4 October 2012 /// In October 2007, 5 years ago, the disability movement gathered the impressive 1 364 984 signatures calling for comprehensive protection of the rights of persons with disabilities in the European law. The interest generated by the campaign demonstrated the strong support of the wider European population for elimination of the barriers faced by people with disabilities in their daily lives.

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UPDATE! INNOVATION & RESEARCH: EDF BRINGS DISABILITY IN THE HORIZON (2020)
20 September 2012 /// Running from 2014 to 2020 with an 80 Euro billion budget, the legislative proposal Horizon 2020 for research and innovation is expected to create new growth and jobs in Europe. Horizon 2020 will decide the orientation of European research and allocation of funding for the next 7 years of the decade. Read latest EDF position and proposals for amendments on Horizon 2020.

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UN CONFERENCE OF STATE PARTIES: EDF REPORTS FROM NEW YORK
14 September 2012 /// In the week of 7-14 September, disability clocks are beating on New York time. The Fifth Session of the Conference of State Parties to the CRPD (the so called COSP) is taking place at the UN Headquarters gathering the attention of the disability movement worldwide. Over the Conference of State Parties, there are a lot of important meetings and side events, on which EDF reports every day from the UN Headquarters.

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RESULTS OF THE ELECTIONS OF MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
12 September 2012 /// The fifth session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (COSP5) is taking place from 12 to 14 September 2012 at the UN Headquarters gathering the attention of the disability movement worldwide. During the Conference, 9 of the 18 positions in the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities have just been renewed through an election.

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INTERNATIONAL DISABILITY ALLIANCE: TOWARDS A STRONGER DISABILITY MOVEMENT WORLDWIDE
10 September 2012 /// The International Disability Alliance (IDA) is the voice of 1 billion persons with disabilities in the world. EDF is a member of IDA as the regional organization representing people with disabilities from Europe. The IDA governing body has met on the 8, 9 and 10 of September in New York, ahead the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD.

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HISTORICAL JUDGMENT OF THE EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS AGAINST CROATIA: IS IT CHANGING THE LIFE OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES?
30 August 2012 /// On 24 July 2012, the European Court of Human Rights has for the first time in its history decided that the State’s failure to protect a person with a disability and his mother against long-term harassment violates their human rights. Since the judgment has a significant legal impact in all countries of the Council of Europe, persons with disabilities should use it to ask their government for protection against violence and harassment based on their disability.

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NOTHING ABOUT 1 BILLION PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES WITHOUT THE INTERNATIONAL DISABILITY ALLIANCE
2 July 2012 /// The International Disability Alliance (IDA) is the voice of 1 billion persons with disabilities in the world: IDA represents global and regional disabled people organizations worldwide. On the 1st of July 2012, the EDF President has become Chair of IDA, a position which he will have for the next two years; he will succeed Ms Diane Richler, former President of Inclusion International.

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CHALLENGES IN THE NEW MILLENNIUM FOR WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES
29 June 2012 /// The Spanish Disability Movement is organising the first international conference in Europe focusing specifically on women with disabilities since the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2006. The inclusion of women and girls with disabilities is a key issue for the European Disability Forum (EDF).

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UNLOCKING EUROPE’S POTENTIAL THROUGH ACCESSIBILITY
21 June 2012 /// More than 70 parliamentarians, policy experts and representatives of disabled people’s organisations will gather today at the European Parliament for a high-level debate on how to unlock Europe’s potential through accessibility, under the lead of Dr Ádám Kósa MEP, the Essl Foundation and the World Future Council, and in collaboration with the European Disability Forum.

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PASSENGER RIGHTS: EUROPEAN COMMISSION’S GUIDELINES TO PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
14 June 2012 /// The European Commission has launched Interpretative Guidelines whose objective is to ensure the correct implementation of the Regulation protecting the rights of persons with disabilities when travelling by plane (Regulation 1107/2006). The European disability movement welcomes this necessary interpretation that is needed to improve the journey for 80 million persons with disabilities.

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HOW MUCH LONGER BEFORE A WEB-ACCESSIBILITY INTERNAL MARKET?
7 June 2012 /// Under the Digital Agenda for Europe, the European Commission has committed to make a proposal to ensure that public sector websites are fully accessible by 2015 to persons with disabilities. EDF wants the realisation of this action: we contribute to it with the release of the EDF Report: A Compilation of Resources on the Web-Accessibility Internal Market.

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NEW TEN-T GUIDELINES COALITION: IMPORTANT PROVISIONS FOR TRANSPORT ACCESSIBILITY FOR ALL USERS UNDER THREAT IN COUNCIL DISCUSSION
4 June 2012 /// Representing a wide coalition of European organisations acting on behalf of the transport industry and the transport passengers, we call upon the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament to uphold article 43 of the Commission’s proposal for the development of the trans-European transport network.

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TOGETHER FOR INCLUSION: THE EUROPEAN LOTTERIES AND THE DISABILITY MOVEMENT LAUNCH JOINT WEBSITE ON BEST PRACTICES
30 May 2012 /// The European Lotteries and the European Disability Forum announce the launch of their website on best practices on how national lotteries throughout Europe can contribute to improve the lives of 80 million European citizens with disabilities.

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VODAFONE FOUNDATION DRIVE TO MAKE MOBILE INTERNET OPEN TO ALL
30 May 2012 /// The Vodafone Foundation has today launched the Smart Accessibility Awards, 2012. The competition calls for developers across Europe to design smartphone applications which take into consideration the needs of older people and people with disabilities.

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EDF GENERAL ASSEMBLY: THE DISABILITY MOVEMENT WANTS TO BE INCLUDED IN THE GROWTH STRATEGY
27 May 2012 /// The 15th annual general assembly of the EDF brought the whole disability movement in Copenhagen. Among all the crucial topics, the 170 participants focused on how to make sure that the EU will deliver results on the disability strategy 2010-2020. The disability movement adopted a strong resolution on the way out of the crisis: five weeks before the EU summit focusing on growth.

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UN CONVENTION ON TOP OF THE AGENDA: HOW INDEPENDENT IS THE MECHANISM?
23 May 2012/// The COHOM gathered on 16 May to explore the best way to set up the independent mechanism of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. EDF presented its proposals to respect the essence of the Treaty and make sure persons with disabilities are included.

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INFORMAL SUMMIT ON GROWTH AND EMPLOYMENT: EDF'S LETTER TO PRESIDENT VAN ROMPUY
22 May 2012 /// We welcome the call for an informal EU summit on growth and employment. EDF believes that the leaders of Europe should discuss the social impact of the crisis and its consequences on fundamental rights. Therefore, we wrote a letter to President Van Rompuy to make sure he understands a European strategy without human rights will be always limited in its effect.

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COHESION POLICY FOR ALL: COMMISSIONER HAHN COMMITS WITH THE UN CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
16 May 2012 /// It is crucial that EU money is invested on improving the lives of all European citizens, including people with disabilities. EDF wants to make sure that accessibility, non-discrimination and social inclusion, as well as the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) are key goals of the EU Structural Funds. Yesterday EDF President, Yannis Vardakastanis, met the Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn, in order to discuss the future Cohesion Policy 2014-2020.

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STRUCTURAL FUNDS: THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT SENDS A STRONG MESSAGE ON DISABILITY TO THE MEMBERS STATES
9 May 2012 /// Preventing and eliminating barriers to accessibility for persons with disabilities should be a condition to fulfil in order to receive European money. EDF and MEP Danuta Hubner have organised a workshop to ensure the European Parliament will promote disability provisions in the next cohesion package 2014 2020. Which MEPs support disability? Why is it crucial?

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COMMISSIONER FÜLE’S VISIT: PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES WANT ALBANIAN GOVERNMENT TO RESPECT HUMAN RIGHTS
3 May 2012 /// The Commissioner for Enlargement Štefan Füle visited Albania to discuss reform efforts and progress in the EU agenda with his Albanian counterparts. On this occasion, Albanian citizens with disabilities organised a protest to make sure the EU Commissioner understands why the Albanian governments doesn’t respect yet important conditions for the country´s accession to the European Union.

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ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE TO SUPPORT DISABILITY IN THE STRUCTURAL FUNDS
26 April 2012 /// On 25th of April the EESC has overwhelmingly supported the opinion on the Common Provisions for the Structural Funds Regulations (the Cohesion Package 2014 2020). As rapporteur on the opinion, Mr Yannis Vardakastanis firmly reminded that conditionalities on disability and anti-discrimination have to be respected by Members States if they want to access the EU money.

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STRUCTURAL FUNDS: THE DANISH PRESIDENCY AND MEMBERS STATES ARE THREATENING THE TREATIES?
24 April 2012 /// Important provisions for social cohesion, economic growth employment and poverty reduction are under threat in Council discussions. This is about the Structural Funds legislative package for 2014-2020. EDF, and its partners, including the most important NGOs in the civil society have sent a joint statement to the decision makers.

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CYPRUS PRESIDENCY: “WE WANT TO INVOLVE ORGANISATIONS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES”
20 April 2012 /// Under the auspices of the upcoming Cyprus EU Presidency, starting in July, EDF together with the Cyprus Confederation of Organisations of the Disabled met the Cyprus Minister of Labour & Social Insurance in order to discuss the priorities of the disability movement.

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7TH SESSION OF THE CRPD COMMITTEE, GENEVA
18 April 2012 /// The 7th session of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD Committee) is held in Geneva until 20 April. It reviews the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 4 countries.

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WHY IS ‘THE UNDATEABLES’ UNWATCHEABLE?
4 April 2012 /// The UK Disabled People’s Council and the European Disability Forum explain why the TV series ‘The Undateables’ on UK Channel 4 is inappropriate. “Such an unworthy show is not improving the portrayal of 80 million European citizens with disabilities in the European media: ‘The Undateables’ is unwatcheable: Channel 4 is just wrong and poses a threat to the rights protected under the UN Convention,” stressed EDF President Yannis Vardakastanis.

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AIR PASSENGER RIGHTS: BETTER NO GUIDELINES THAN BADLY WRITTEN GUDELINES
21 March 2012 /// Passengers with disabilities have benefited from a positive EU legislation since 2006. EDF wants to make sure this Regulation is implemented correctly. Therefore whe have just sent a letter to Vice President and Commissioner Kallas.

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CRPD COMMITTEE: EDF SENDS ITS INTERPRETATION ON ACCESSIBILITY PROVISION IN THE UN CONVENTION
21 March 2012 /// EDF focuses on accessibility and responds to the CRPD Committee’s call on the implementation of Article 9 on Accessibility. Know more on our position.

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A LANDMARK MEETING OF THE INTERNATIONAL DISABILITY MOVEMENT IN ATHENS
13 March 2012 /// From 8 to 12 March, the International Disability Alliance (IDA) held its Governing Body in Athens, Greece. During this meeting, IDA discussed about its advocacy activities, the capacity building strategies and the legal incorporation of the alliance. The discussions among all members made significant progress in all these areas in order to consolidate the international disability movement.

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CONSULTATION: 80 MILLION EUROPEANS WITH DISABILITIES CALL FOR FOR A STRONG EUROPEAN ACCESSIBILITY LEGISLATION
13 March 2012 /// During the past 3 months, the European Commission ran a public consultation “with a view to a European Accessibility Act”. It is important for the disability movement to express the vision of all persons with disabilities on such an important legislation. A wide consultation has been set up within EDF membership and the final details of our answer have been discussed by the leaders of the disability movement. Read what is the scope we want for such an important Act.

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HOW WILL EUROPE SPEND ITS MONEY IN THE NEXT 7 YEARS? EDF DISCUSSES THE MFF IN THE PARLIAMENT
7 March 2012 /// How will Europe spend the money in the next 7 years? The Disability Intergroup co-hosts a seminar on the Rights and Citizenship Programme recently proposed by the European Commission.This is the ‘equality chapter’ of the European Union’s 7-year budget, the Multiannual Financial Framework. Earlier in February, a network of 12 major NGOs including EDF presented its joint amendments together.

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DANISH PRESIDENCY CONFERENCE ON ACCESSIBILITY
5 March 2012 /// EDF President Yannis Vardakastanis opened the conference of the Danish Presidency in Copenhaguen. The Denmark government and the European Commission have chosen to focus and accessiblity and inclusion. Karen Haekkerup, Danish Minister for Social Affairs and HRG Crown ¨Princess Mary of Denmark reminded their commitment to inclusion in their country.

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ACCESSIBILITY ACT: A BINDING LEGISLATION IS THE ONLY EFFECTIVE OPTION
4 March 2012 /// The leaders of the European Disability Forum gathered on the 3rd and 4th of March in the capital of Denmark for their board Presidency Conference on Accessibility and Inclusion where the disability movement will present how the EU has to improve accessibility for 80 million citizens with disabilities.

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INSTITUTIONS: CZECH REPUBLIC MUST STOP CAGING HUMAN BEINGS
22 February 2012 /// Prague, Czech Republic European Network of (ex)users and Survivors of Psychiatry. The caging of human beings is a gross violation of international human rights law. Yet it continues to be acceptable ‘treatment‘ for psychiatric patients in the Czech Republic. The European Network of (Ex-) Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (ENUSP) has learned of the recent suicide of a woman in a caged bed at Dobrany psychiatric clinic near Plzen. EDF writes to the Minister of Health of the Czech Republic and calls for immediate action.

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FREE MOVEMENT: EU LAUNCHES EDF FREEDOM GUIDE
14 February 2012 /// We have asked the disability movement, experts from NGOs, from the industry and academics about the barriers, and about their vision of accessibility. They talk about freedom.

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LEGAL CAPACITY AT THE EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS: WE WANT THE UN CONVENTION TO BE THE NEW STANDARD
14 February 2012 /// Earlier this week, EDF joined forces with the International Disability Alliance, World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry and European Network of (ex-)Users and Survivors of Psychiatry. We want the UN Convention to be the new standard whereby deprivation of legal capacity whereby deprivation of persons of legal capacity.

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EUROPEAN STANDARDISATION: PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES WANT TO BE PART OF IT TOO!
20 January 2012 /// Certain European standards on household appliances contain an exclusion clause. This clearly points out that, while creating this standard, the safety standard envisaged does not apply in situations where children and people with disabilities use the aforementioned appliances without supervision. EDF considers this to be discrimination on the basis of disability. That is why the current revision of the European standardisation system offers an opportunity to avoid such a situation in the future.

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LAUNCH OF THE WORLD REPORT ON DISABILITY AT THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
9 December 2011 /// On 7th December 2011 the World Report on Disability was presented and discussed at a launch event in the European Parliament. Most of speakers welcomed this document - which states that one billion people experience disability globally. EDF gave his opinion on the report and highlighted the effect of the crisis on persons with disabilities in Europe.

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PRESIDENTS BARROSO, BUZEK & VAN ROMPUY MEET WITH EDF: THE FIRST STATE OF THE UNION ON DISABILITY
6 December 2011 /// Today, the first State of the Union on Disability was organised in Brussels. This historic meeting hosted by President José Manuel Barroso gathered Jerzy Buzek, President of the European Parliament, Herman Van Rompuy President of the European Council, and Yannis Vardakastanis President of the European Disability Forum.

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