The Malta Independent 15 December 2017, Friday

No Maltese MEP sponsors attendance for the 4th European Parliament for Persons with Disability

Sunday, 3 December 2017, 08:56 Last update: about 13 days ago

The Malta Federation of Organisations for Persons with Disability (MFOPD) is the national umbrella organisation for the disability sector. It is the Maltese representative in European and international fora, included amongst which is the European Disability Forum (EDF).

The EDF, in cooperation with the European Parliament, has been actively preparing the fourth edition of a major event: the European Parliament of Persons with Disabilities (EPPD). The EPPD is a landmark event which provides a unique opportunity for European citizens with disabilities, both leaders and grass-root activists, to have a dialogue with their elected representatives and speak up for their rights.

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It is a unique event that demonstrates Parliament’s support to persons with disabilities and the importance of dialogue between European citizens with disabilities and their MEPs. The discussions will focus on political and public life, the European Disability Strategy 2020-2030 and the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) by the EU.

The all-day event is taking place on 6 December in the European Parliament in Brussels. It will bring together hundreds of delegates of representative organisations of persons with disabilities from all over Europe, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and high level representatives of other EU institutions.

The event will be opened by European Parliament President Antonio Tajani and EDF President Yannis Vardakastanis.

In the first semester of this year, the EDF suggested that all its members, including the MFOPD, contact their MEPs and ask each of them to sponsor two people to attend the forthcoming EPPD. Along with all EDF’s members, the MFOPD contacted all our MEPs, asking for their support. Unfortunately, no Maltese MEP has agreed to sponsor the MFOPD to enable it to send its members to Brussels to represent the Maltese umbrella organisation for the disability sector.

While all other member countries received positive feedback from their MEPs and have secured quite a substantial number of sponsorships from them for this event, Malta’s MEPs have failed to support our Federation, which is the voice for all Maltese people with disability: they have failed to support those of us with disability and our families.

Notwithstanding the above, the MFOPD will still be represented at the European Parliament due to the direct input of the European Commission. However, it is indeed sad that while our MEPs speak constantly on behalf of people with disability, sometimes words speak louder than actions. This is in total contrast to the actions of foreign MEPs in support of people with disability in their countries.

 

Marthese Mugliette

President

MFOPD

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