February 2023
EUD President's Foreword
and Impact Report 2022

2022 brought many new and exciting challenges for EUD, as Europe emerged from the pandemic, and more in-person meetings and events have become increasingly possible. Nevertheless, due to the flexibility of online events, a significant portion have remained online. Accordingly, for EUD to continue making an impact with its work, the webinar format has remained for some events, and in other cases, for instance, the General Assembly and its corresponding events, were held in person. This ‘hybrid’ approach has proven successful for EUD. 

In May 2022, we held our General Assembly (GA) in Marseilles, France. We were glad to return to the in-person format, having had a virtual GA in 2021. During the GA, discussions with our members continued in terms of how EUD can better support its members in advocating for the rights of deaf persons, in line with the UN CRPD, at the national and the EU level. A key point of discussion at the GA was the war in Ukraine, and the resulting situation for deaf persons remaining in and fleeing Ukraine. A significant moment took place, when, in a unanimous vote, the EUD GA accepted the Ukrainian Society of the Deaf as an affiliated member.

The EUD election also took place during the GA in Marseilles where I was elected as EUD’s new President, Ronit Laqquerrière-Leven (France) was elected as EUD’s new Vice-President and three new Board members were also elected – Andy Van Hoorebeke (Belgium), Paal Richard Peterson (Norway), and David Buxton (UK). Our mandate will run from 2022-2026.  

In addition to this, during the GA, now former EUD President, Markku Jokinen, stepped down from his position with EUD. On behalf of EUD, I would like to express my sincere gratitude and thanks to Markku for his significant contribution to EUD’s work and mission.  

The headline policy developments of 2022 included the launch of some Flagship Initiatives under the European Disability Rights Strategy 2021–2030, such as the Disability Employment Package, as well as progress with the targets in the European Pillar of Social Rights. This reflects the EU’s progress to implement their obligations as a State Party to the UN CRPD.  Accordingly, to continue engaging with the EU policy developments, EUD organised four webinars – Labour market access for deaf persons in the EU; First year of the EU Disability Rights Strategy 2021-2030; UN CRPD as a key advocacy tool for sign language recognition and sign language rights; and Data collection on deaf persons in the EU. 

Although, at EU level, this year has brought the adoption of new initiatives and legislation with the aim to further realise the rights of persons with disabilities, including deaf persons, under the UN CRPD, the reality, in-practice, at Member State level, isn’t as encouraging. For instance, in 2022, a transposition period was set for the European Accessibility Act (EAA) during which Member States had to implement this law at national level. The deadline for the transposition was 28 June 2022. However, disappointingly, only 11 Member States have taken measures. Indeed, for full compliance with the UN CRPD, a more ambitious transposition of the EEA at national level is required for all Member States. 

2022 has seen several exciting developments for EUD. Our hybrid approach to working has proved successful and I, the Board and EUD staff continue to remain committed to our work to ensure the deaf perspective is mainstreamed in all EU developments. 

Download the Impact Report 2022
Sofia Isari
EUD President
Ronit Laquerrière-Leven
EUD Vice President
Paal Richard Peterson
EUD Board Member
David Buxton
EUD Board Member
Andy Van Hoorebeke
EUD Board Member
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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