Netherlands, Slovakia and Malta ink joint equality declaration

THE NETHERLANDS, Slovakia and Malta, as the new joint holders of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union have signed a joint declaration on gender equality, this being one of the main goals and tasks of the EU.

Disabled people; illustrative stock photo. Disabled people; illustrative stock photo. (Source: Sme)

This declaration of the so-called presidency trio, which will chair the EU for the next 18 months – the Netherlands from January to June this year, Slovakia from July to December and Malta from January to June 2017 – has outlined their main plans regarding gender equality issues, the Dutch presidency reported on January 5.    

The main focus of the declaration is on promoting an increase in the employment of women. The trio emphasises that equality of men and women is a proviso for securing economic growth, prosperity, wealth and social inclusion. It has taken into the consideration the fact that women are generally more at risk of poverty and social exclusion than men. The declaration includes a list of concrete steps that will support progress in the field of gender equality over the course of the coming 18 months.

The trio have also submitted a proposal regarding the European Accessibility Act, which is the proposal of a regulation that the European Commission has been awaiting since 2011. It calls for disabled people to be able to fully and effectively participate in normal life, defining goods and services that disabled people should be able to access like able-bodied people, such as ATMs, banking services, telecommunications and transportation, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

According to the European Commission’s data, there are around 80 million people with disabilities in the EU who face obstacles in accessing some types of goods and services.

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