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Inrochtaineacht do chách Eorpach

ROINN:

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Úsáidimid do shíniú suas chun ábhar a sholáthar ar bhealaí ar thoiligh tú leo agus chun ár dtuiscint ortsa a fheabhsú. Is féidir leat díliostáil ag am ar bith.

IMRsThe European Commission has, after extensive consultation, launched its European Accessibility Act. Those familiar with European legislation might raise an eyebrow at the word ‘Act’, which is more familiar to those in the Anglo-Saxon world, but fear not, the ‘Act’ is in fact a ‘Directive’. Why the EU has decided to go all American on us, one can only speculate, but could it be that the ‘European Accessibility Act’ just sounds a little more funky than the European Accessibility Directive. Or, could it be that the ‘Americans with Disabilities Act’ has trail-blazed in an area where European legislators have feared to tread.

Richard Howitt MEP, co-chair of the European Parliament’s All-Party Disability Rights Group, has been active in rights for the disabled for many years. He said: "It is shameful how long disabled people have been forced to wait - the foot-dragging has to stop right now. When I helped negotiate the EU law against disability discrimination in access to employment in 2000, the European Parliament was promised that action to outlaw the same discrimination in access to goods and services would soon follow.”

The first attempt to launch this ‘Act’ was in 2011 on Viviane Reding’s watch - she was then Commission vice president and commissioner for justice, fundamental rights and citizenship. It was an important –perhaps the most important – part of ‘European Disability Strategy 2010-2020’. Why it got stuck in the system isn’t very clear, but given the timing, it was possibly linked to concerns about additional costs to business, particularly small businesses.

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The ‘foot dragging’ may be harder to understand, given that the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights contains commitments to the right to integration of persons with disabilities (Article 26) and that in 2011, the EU and 25 EU countries ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). The Convention contains a clear obligation for states to ensure accessibility to persons with disabilities access on an equal basis with others (Art 9).

Finally on the table 

I shall stop sniping at the failure to act earlier and turn to the Directive (Act) itself. One of the concerns is that the Commission has decided that the ‘Act’ should only cover selected priority areas, "where obstacles to the functioning of the single market were most visible and likely to increase or where action at European level would add more value", products and services include cash machines and banking services, personal computers, telephones, television and audiovisual services, transport, e-books and e-commerce.

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For some, this does not go far enough. ANEC – who represent European consumer interest in the creation of technical standards – have pointed out that with free movement of people consideration should also be given to the built environment. For example, people who are blind often use tactile surfaces to identify road crossings, and these can change from country to country and sometimes within one city.  ANEC think that the built environment could have been included, a view echoed by Richard Howitt MEP: "Although I am proud that Europe has made progress on disability-access rules in the past in relation to the installation of lifts, for some public transport and on the internet, the bitter truth is that the large swath of the built environment remains a 'no go' area for people with disabilities in Europe.”

ANEC welcome the Act but say that legislation isn’t enough, it is also important that there is effective implementation. ANEC Secretary-General Stephen Russell said: “No matter how good a standard, it will not help accessibility if it is not implemented. We therefore proposed the legislation establishes a market surveillance system of public authorities, either harmonized at the European level or at least very well co-ordinated and resourced.”

It’s the economy, stupid!

Despite references to rights and inclusion, the principle justification and legal basis for this initiative is the advancement of the single market. It is a pity that addressing impaired accessibility is couched in terms that suggest that action is required not because of nebulous commitment to rights, but to a hard-headed business opportunity in an untapped market. The business opportunity isn’t just the 80 million people in European who have a disability, but our booming ageing population, who could bring this ‘market segment’ to 120 million by 2020.  The economic advantages are no doubt real. The first proposal pointed to two studies that showed the economic benefits of action. The first, a study by the UK’s Royal National Institute of the Blind, showed that a £35,000 investment by a supermarket chain in making their website accessible brought in additional revenue of more than £13 million a year. And a second in Germany, a study found that more accessible facilities would increase travel by persons with disabilities, yielding between €620m and €1.9 billion in additional turnover for the German tourism industry.

The act is indeed progress, but we must also acknowledge the limitations of the act. I leave the last words to Richard Howitt: "Today's proposal is not yet freedom of movement for disabled people, nor is it inclusive design of products, nor is it the right of equal access to services - but it does begin the legislative process, allowing the European Parliament to begin to negotiate what can be achieved."

An Coimisiún Eorpach

NextGenerationEU: Íocann an Coimisiún Eorpach € 231 milliún i réamh-mhaoiniú chun na Slóivéine

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D'eisigh an Coimisiún Eorpach € 231 milliún leis an tSlóivéin i réamh-mhaoiniú, arb ionann é agus 13% de leithdháileadh deontais na tíre faoin tSaoráid Aisghabhála agus Athléimneachta (RRF). Cuideoidh an íocaíocht réamh-mhaoinithe le cur i bhfeidhm na mbeart ríthábhachtach infheistíochta agus athchóirithe a leagtar amach i bplean téarnaimh agus athléimneachta na Slóivéine a thosú. Údaróidh an Coimisiún eisíocaíochtaí breise bunaithe ar chur i bhfeidhm na n-infheistíochtaí agus na n-athchóirithe a leagtar amach i bplean téarnaimh agus athléimneachta na Slóivéine.

Tá sé beartaithe go bhfaighidh an tír € 2.5 billiún san iomlán, comhdhéanta de € 1.8bn i ndeontais agus € 705m in iasachtaí, thar shaolré a plean. Tagann eisíocaíocht an lae inniu tar éis na chéad oibríochtaí iasachta faoi NextGenerationEU a chur i bhfeidhm go rathúil le déanaí. Faoi dheireadh na bliana, tá sé beartaithe ag an gCoimisiún suas le € 80 billiún a chruinniú i maoiniú fadtéarmach, le comhlánú le Billí gearrthéarmacha AE, chun na chéad eisíocaíochtaí pleanáilte a mhaoiniú do bhallstáit faoi NextGenerationEU.

Tá an RRF i gcroílár NextGenerationEU a sholáthróidh € 800bn (i bpraghsanna reatha) chun tacú le hinfheistíochtaí agus athchóirithe ar fud na mballstát. Tá plean na Slóivéine mar chuid d’fhreagairt gan fasach an AE teacht chun cinn níos láidre ó ghéarchéim COVID-19, ag cothú na n-aistrithe glasa agus digiteacha agus ag athléimneacht agus comhtháthú inár sochaithe a neartú. A. brúigh scaoileadh ar fáil ar líne.

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An Chipir

NextGenerationEU: Íocann an Coimisiún Eorpach € 157 milliún i réamh-mhaoiniú chun na Cipire

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D'eisigh an Coimisiún Eorpach € 157 milliún don Chipir i réamh-mhaoiniú, arb ionann é agus 13% de leithdháileadh airgeadais na tíre faoin tSaoráid Aisghabhála agus Athléimneachta (RRF). Cuideoidh an íocaíocht réamh-mhaoinithe le cur i bhfeidhm na mbeart ríthábhachtach infheistíochta agus athchóirithe a leagtar amach i bplean téarnaimh agus athléimneachta na Cipire a thosú. Údaróidh an Coimisiún eisíocaíochtaí breise bunaithe ar chur i bhfeidhm na n-infheistíochtaí agus na n-athchóirithe a leagtar amach i bplean téarnaimh agus athléimneachta na Cipire.

Tá sé beartaithe go bhfaighidh an tír € 1.2 billiún san iomlán thar shaolré a plean, agus soláthrófar € 1 billiún i ndeontais agus € 200m in iasachtaí. Tagann eisíocaíocht an lae inniu tar éis na chéad oibríochtaí iasachta faoi NextGenerationEU a chur i bhfeidhm go rathúil le déanaí. Faoi dheireadh na bliana, tá sé beartaithe ag an gCoimisiún suas le € 80bn san iomlán a chruinniú i maoiniú fadtéarmach, le comhlánú ag Billí gearrthéarmacha AE, chun na chéad eisíocaíochtaí pleanáilte a mhaoiniú do bhallstáit faoi NextGenerationEU. Mar chuid de NextGenerationEU, soláthróidh an RRF € 723.8bn (i bpraghsanna reatha) chun tacú le hinfheistíochtaí agus athchóirithe ar fud na mballstát.

Tá plean na Cipire mar chuid d’fhreagairt gan fasach an AE teacht chun cinn níos láidre ó ghéarchéim COVID-19, ag cothú na n-aistrithe glasa agus digiteacha agus ag neartú athléimneacht agus comhtháthaithe inár sochaithe. A. brúigh scaoileadh ar fáil ar líne.

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Belgium

Beartas Comhtháthaithe an AE: Faigheann an Bheilg, an Ghearmáin, an Spáinn agus an Iodáil € 373 milliún chun tacú le seirbhísí sláinte agus sóisialta, FBManna agus cuimsiú sóisialta

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Dheonaigh an Coimisiún € 373 milliún do chúig Ciste Sóisialta na hEorpa (CSE) agus Ciste Forbraíochta Réigiúnaí na hEorpa Cláir oibríochta (ERDF) sa Bheilg, sa Ghearmáin, sa Spáinn agus san Iodáil chun cabhrú leis na tíortha a bhfuil freagairt agus deisiú éigeandála coronavirus acu faoi chuimsiú na REACT-AE. Sa Bheilg, cuirfidh modhnú an Wallonia OP € 64.8m breise ar fáil chun trealamh míochaine a fháil le haghaidh seirbhísí sláinte agus nuálaíochta.

Tacóidh na cistí le gnóthais bheaga agus mheánmhéide (FBManna) chun ríomhthráchtáil, cibearshlándáil, láithreáin ghréasáin agus siopaí ar líne a fhorbairt, chomh maith leis an ngeilleagar glas réigiúnach trí éifeachtúlacht fuinnimh, cosaint an chomhshaoil, forbairt cathracha cliste agus ísealcharbóin bonneagair phoiblí. Sa Ghearmáin, i Stát Cónaidhme Hessen, tacóidh € 55.4m le bonneagar taighde a bhaineann le sláinte, cumas diagnóiseach agus nuálaíocht in ollscoileanna agus in institiúidí taighde eile chomh maith le hinfheistíochtaí taighde, forbartha agus nuálaíochta i réimsí na haeráide agus na forbartha inbhuanaithe. Cuirfidh an leasú seo tacaíocht ar fáil do FBManna agus do chistí do ghnólachtaí nuathionscanta trí chiste infheistíochta.

I Sachsen-Anhalt, éascóidh € 75.7m comhoibriú FBManna agus institiúidí i dtaighde, forbairt agus nuálaíocht, agus infheistíochtaí agus caipiteal oibre a sholáthar do mhicrifhiontair a dtéann an ghéarchéim coronavirus i bhfeidhm orthu. Thairis sin, ligfidh na cistí d’infheistíochtaí in éifeachtúlacht fuinnimh fiontar, tacóidh siad le nuálaíocht dhigiteach i FBManna agus trealamh digiteach a fháil do scoileanna agus d’institiúidí cultúrtha. San Iodáil, gheobhaidh an OP náisiúnta ‘Cuimsiú Sóisialta’ € 90m chun comhtháthú sóisialta daoine a bhfuil díothacht mór ábhair, easpa dídine nó imeallú mór orthu a chur chun cinn, trí sheirbhísí ‘Housing First’ a chomhcheanglaíonn soláthar tithíochta láithreach le seirbhísí sóisialta agus fostaíochta a chumasú. .

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Sa Spáinn, cuirfear € 87m leis an ESF OP do Castilla y León chun tacú le daoine féinfhostaithe agus oibrithe a raibh a gconarthaí curtha ar fionraí nó laghdaithe mar gheall ar an ngéarchéim. Cuideoidh an t-airgead le cuideachtaí crua freisin layoffs a sheachaint, go háirithe in earnáil na turasóireachta. Faoi dheireadh, teastaíonn na cistí chun ligean do sheirbhísí sóisialta riachtanacha leanúint ar aghaidh ar bhealach sábháilte agus leanúnachas oideachais a chinntiú ar fud na paindéime trí bhaill foirne breise a fhostú.

Tá REACT-EU mar chuid de NextGenerationEU agus soláthraíonn sé maoiniú breise € 50.6bn (i bpraghsanna reatha) do chláir bheartais Chomhtháthaithe le linn 2021 agus 2022. Díríonn bearta ar thacú le hathléimneacht mhargadh an tsaothair, poist, FBManna agus teaghlaigh ar ioncam íseal, chomh maith le bunsraitheanna a bheidh oiriúnach don todhchaí a leagan síos do na haistrithe glasa agus digiteacha agus téarnamh socheacnamaíoch inbhuanaithe.

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