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EPR e-Bulletin
April 2020

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e-Bulletin
EU policy, projects and conferences updates
Special Issue COVID-19 

 EPR COVID-19 Dedicated Information
Over the past weeks we have launched a dedicated webpage to guide our members and partners under COVID-19. At EPR we want our members to feel supported by the community of our organisations under these challenging circumstances. To do so, we are offering online dedicated Task Forces to share experiences on working remotely and adapting service provision in times of COVID-19.

Our Knowledge Hub is filled with dedicated resources in dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak, sharing information from our network and partners. It includes resources on mental health, hygiene, calls from social organisations including easy-to-read to ensure that important advice on COVID-19 is as accessible as possible. 
>> Access EPR COVID-19 webpage here.
>> Access EPR Knowledge Hub here.  

European Commission Allocates Resources to Fight COVID-19
To counter the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commission has proposed a €100 billion solidarity instrument which will help support businesses and workers. This instrument is part of the Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency (SURE) initiative which has been created to protect workers from income cuts and unemployment caused by the pandemic. The Commission has also evolved the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) to help the most vulnerable in society involving the introduction of electronic vouchers to lower contamination risk and buying protective equipment for aid providers. 
>> Learn more about these resources here.

European Commissioners send their support to EU national governments under  COVID-19 
A joint-letter by Helena Dalli (Commissioner on Equality), Nicolas Schmitt (Commissioner on Jobs and Social Rights) and Stella Kyriakides (Commissioner on Health, Food and Safety) has been submitted to National Ministers, outlining the challenges posed by COVID-19 and why support is needed from the Commission to Member States. 
>> Read the letter here.

COVID-19 Disability Rights Monitor
COVID-19 is particularly affecting people with disabilities as evidence shows. To get a better understanding of the situation, a disability rights monitor has been launched by a coalition of six disability rights organisations supported by both the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of persons with disabilities.
It seeks to monitor state measures against COVID-19 and their effects on persons with disabilities. The first part of this monitor is the creation of surveys requesting information from governments and persons with disabilities. The results of these surveys will be used to assess what states are doing to protect the rights of persons with disabilities as well as their access to health and vital services. 
>> Would you like to contribute? Take the survey here

Eurofund survey on COVID-19 economic and social effects
Eurofund, the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, has launched a large-scale survey to assess the economic and social effects of the COVID-19 crisis. The objective of the survey is to investigate the changes on well being, work and tele worked caused by this crisis.
>> Access the survey here.
>> Find more information about this survey here.


UN Rights Expert, "Who is protecting people with disabilities?"
Catalina Devandas, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, has called the attention about possible infringments on the rights of persons with disabilities by government reacions to COVID-19. Isolation and social distancing measures can drastically change the life of those who rely on others to eat, dress or bath, she said. As this support is basic for the survival of many people with disabilities, she calls governments to establish adequate social protection measures to ensure no one is left behind.  She quotes that public advice campaigns and information about COVID-19 must be made accessible to all.
>> Read the complete statement here.

COVID-19 and Mental Health
Statement by WHO Regional Director for Europe

WHO Regional Director for Europe has released a statement on COVID-19 and its impact on mental health across Europe. While noting that there have been encouraging signs such lower rates of infections in Italy, it is of the utmost importance to address the need to remain mentally and physically healthy in the long term. The WHO has also issued a set of considerations for people to follow during the pandemic. 
>> Read and watch the statement here.
>> Read more about the considerations here.


EPR joins 10 partner organisations to draw attention to mental health under COVID-19
EPR has joined 10 partner organisations in a joint statement to bring attention to the impact the COVID-19 pandemic can have on mental health issues and well-being worldwide. The statement encourages national, European and international decision-makers to take certain aspects into account such as including mental health in crisis response actions; helping communicating without creating panic or fear or protecting the mental health of front line workers and others. 
>> Read the full statement in our website here.

Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative 
The European Commission has adopted this Initiative to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and short-term employment schemes. It will involve €37 billion in cohesion funds and will allow Member States a degree of flexibility in choosing the direction of these resources.
>> Find further information on the initiative here.
 Publications 
 
Coronavirus Pandemic in the EU - Fundamental Rights Implications 
In this report the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) outlines some of the measures EU Member States have put in place to protect public health during the COVID-19 pandemic, covering the period 1 February – 20 March 2020. One of the issues central to the report is the effect of COVID-19 on specific groups including persons with disabilities (section 2.2.1). 
>> Read the report here. 

 
Poverty and Social Exclusion of Persons with Disabilities
In this publication the European Disability Forum presents the extent of how poverty and social exclusion affects persons with disabilities in the EU. The publication recommends the establishment of an action plan to mitigate the social costs for persons with disabilities.
>> Read the report here. 
>> Read the easy-to-read report here. 



 
Lifelong guidance policy and practice in the EU
Lifelong guidance aims to provide career development support for individuals of all ages ages and career stages. It includes careers information, advice, counselling, assessment of skills and mentoring. The publication details a study on lifelong guidance policy and practice in the EU, focusing on its trends, challenges and opportunities.
>> Read the report here. 




EaSI programme report 
The report presents 30 projects supported by the European Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (‘EaSI’) between 2015 and 2018. Between them is our organisation EPR. Our "Compendium of Good Practices in Staff Engagement, Motivation and Retention" is featured in the report (section 4.1.13). 
>> Read the report here. 


 
EU Skills Profile Tool for Third Country Nationals
The European Commission has published a brochure which introduces the EU Skills Profile Tool, a multilingual online editor that supports third country nations from gaining skills and qualifications needed to work in the EU. The brochure and tool are offered in all official languages in the EU as well as Arabic, Farsi, Pashto, Sorani, Somali and Tigrinya.
>> Read the brochure here.



 
Covid-19: How to Include Marginalised and Vulnerable People in Risk Communication and Community Engagement
This report launched by the UN, WHO and the International Federation of the Red Cross addresses how emergencies such as COVID-19 affect vulnerable people such as persons with disabilities harder and how governments can mitigate their social-economic marginalisation to ensure that their rights are being protected. The report maintains that by identifying the needs of these populations, governments can properly support the capacity of vulnerable populations in emergencies. 
>> Read the report here.
Our Catalogue of Activities and Services for 2020 is now available on our website here
 Latest information regarding COVID-19 and EPR in-person meetings: All EPR in-person meetings taking place before summer 2020 will be held online. Updates are available on our website events' section here
 EPR Mental Health WG 
12 May 2020 Online 
 Working and Meeting Remotely Taskforce
26 May 2020 Online 
 Workshop - Leading Digital Transformation
27 May 2020/ 10 June 2020 Two morning sessions
Online 
 EPR General Assembly 
28 May 2020 Online 
 Webinar on Labour Market Inclusion - Inclusive Job Design
11 June 2020 Online 
 Workshop Series Well-being at work: Coping, Connecting & Balancing
Updated information on this workshop will be sent shortly
June 2020 Online 
Save the Date - EPR Internal Meetings (GA, CC and BoD)
28 September 2020 at Rehab (Dublin, Ireland)
Save the Date - EPR Annual Conference 2020
29 - 30 September 2020, Dublin, Ireland
EPR Internal Meetings & Public Affairs Event 
2 - 3 December 2020, Brussels, Belgium




Upcoming events 
Follow us on Twitter! @EPR_Network
Copyright © 2020 EPR, All rights reserved.
Editors: Alicia Gomez Campos and Lawrence Greco, EPR Secretariat.

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