2011. 11. 07.
This year's Disabled People's Parliament was held in Malta last week. As chief speaker, MEP Ádám Kósa explained the processes of European decision-making in the field of disability and gave an account of the work of the European Parliament regarding this issue. The main subject of the meeting, chaired by Michael Frendo, Speaker of the Malthese Parliament, was the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which has not yet been ratified by Malta to date. The participating members of the Malthese government – Minister of Education Dolores Cristina and Deputy Prime Minister Tonio Borg – , as well as Joseph Muscat, leader of the Labour Party opposition, expressed their hope that the ratification process will be over within the next half year.
During his visit, MEP Kósa met the leaders of a foundation committed to achieving official recognition for Malthese sign language, who told of familiar difficulties: for the 400 deaf people living in the 316 sq km nation, there are only three sign language interpreters who provide accessibility to communication, whereas at least ten would be required.
On the last day of his stay, the EPP Group MEP took part in a seminar organised by Malthese MEP Simon Busuttil, at which he summarised his experiences in the field of the European Social Cohesion Fund for representatives of the Malthese governing party. "This small country faces completely different challenges to other members of the European Union, and, for precisely this reason, we deem it especially important that European processes are implemented with taking the particularities of the country into account", the only deaf MEP concluded at the end of his visit. "This three-day trip has proven to me that it is not the size or the population of a country that matters; every person, living with or without disability, is equally important" – MEP Kósa pointed out.