Ninth ANED annual meeting
On 15 November 2016, the European network of academic experts in the field of disability (ANED) held its 9th annual meeting in Brussels.
The day before (14 November) was meant for national and senior experts within the network, to discuss and evaluate the tasks of last year and look ahead to the upcoming tasks.
The meeting on the 15th brought together the national experts, Commission staff and other invited guests and provided them an important opportunity to share their research experience and to exchange practices and knowledge. The main topics addressed were on the European Semester reporting, the involvement of civil society to ANED’s work and the expectations of the European Pillar of Social Rights.
Inmaculada Placencia-Porrero, opened the meeting with stressing out the importance of the ANED network. She elaborated on the topics the Commission is currently working on. One of the most pressing issues now being discussed is the European Accessibility Act within the European Parliament and the Council.
After discussion with the Commission, the new policy theme for this year is mainstreaming disability rights in the Social Pillar. Ragnar Horn (Policy officer DG Employment, Modernisation of Social Protection systems unit) presented the outline of the Social Pillar and informed us that the Pillar was still in the consultation phase. The consultation closed at the end of December 2016, and the results will be presented in a white paper expected in March 2017.
The closing remarks were done by Elena Hindemithova (Policy officer DG Employment, Disability & Inclusion unit). She pointed out the importance of statistics within the European Semester and that national experts should focus in their EU2020 reports on the most burning issues in their country. Lastly, she asked the national experts to keep patience. Their contributions are valued input, and used for different purposes, as well for parliamentary inquiries during the year, and that this cannot be done without the ANED contributions.