ONCE Foundation, guided by its experience and commitment to improving the quality of life of persons with disabilities and their families, closely follows developments in the European environment in relation to this group, both within the European Institutions and in those European and international forums where is working to defend the interests of 100 million Europeans and Europeans with disabilities.
Thus, the institutional presence of ONCE Foundation in Europe, as such and/or representing the interests of persons with disabilities, is embodied in the following Platforms:
European Disability Forum (EDF)
The EDF is the organisation that, since 1997, has brought together all the European organisations representing persons with disabilities at national level, as well as European organisations that defend the interests of a specific type of disability. At ONCE Foundation there is continuous work to support the EDF in its role with European institutions in developing policies and initiatives that may have direct or indirect consequences on the social sector of persons with disabilities and their families.
European Foundation Centre (EFC)
It is the reference platform for philanthropy in Europe, working to strengthen the sector and defend institutional philanthropy as a formidable means to effect change. The EFC argues that institutional philanthropy has a crucial and timely role in meeting the critical challenges facing today's society.
ONCE Foundation has been a dynamic member of EFC since 1989 and a strong advocate of the interests of the founding sector in Europe. We participate in the decision-making bodies of the entity and are leaders of the Disability Thematic Network working group for the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities since its inception in 2009, which serves as a meeting point and centre for exchange of knowledge and reflection among EFC members working on disability issues.
Social Economy Europe (SEE)
It is the platform of the European social economy. Its aim is to promote the social and economic contribution of enterprises and organisations of the social economy, promote the role and values of social economic actors in Europe, and to strengthen political and legal recognition of the social economy and of cooperatives, mutual societies, associations and foundations.
ONCE Foundation has been a member of the Advisory Committee since the beginning, participating in the meetings where European policies on the Sector were defined. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors through the European Centre for Foundations (EFC).
European Economic Social Committee (EESC)
Fundación ONCE is a member of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) representing the Spanish Business Confederation for Social Economy (CEPES).
It is the main advisory body of the European Union, which was founded in 1957 at the same time as the EU itself. The various components of civil society are represented in the Committee: employers, trade unions and other actors such as NGOs, social economy, consumers, liberal professions, academia, etc. Its role is to give opinions on virtually all EU political and legislative projects, to ensure that civil society's perspective is duly taken into account. Their reports are sent to the Council, the European Commission and the European Parliament. It therefore has a key role to play in the Union's decision-making process.
In addition, the Committee encourages participatory democracy in the EU and contributes to strengthening the role of civil society organisations through the establishment of a 'structured dialogue'.
If we join this that the European Union is at the origin of between 70 and 80% of the legislation that is applied in the Member States, we can give ourselves an idea of the importance of the EESC as a body that generates ideas and proposals.
Our participation in the Committee allows us to incorporate the disability dimension andthe social economy into the opinions in which we participate, emphasizing the Foundation's work on inclusive employment and accessibility.
Services of General Interest in Europe (SGI)
It is the European Centre for Public Enterprises and Public Services at European level, which concentrates companies presenting services of general interest. Being members of CEEP allows us access to the social dialogue table at European level. We participated in the meetings of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs at European level and are observers in the European Committee on the European Social Fund.
European Platform for Rehabilitation (EPR)
ONCE Foundation participates as a full member of the EPR, a non-profit association that brings together institutions that provide services in the occupational, medical and social rehabilitation areas for persons with disabilities in order to improve their position in the labour market.
Other activities in the international arena
ONCE Foundation is a member of the World Consortium for the Standardization of Accessibility on the WEB (W3C), which is the most important Consortium that regulates the standards of the Network.
We are also on the European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT). ENAT works to make Europe an accessible destination, where all travellers can move freely, enjoy new experiences and be sure to get the service they need and expect, ultimately, for the long-term sustainability of the European tourism industry.
We also participate in the Design for All Europe Platform (EIDD).
Since 2018, ONCE Foundation has had special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), which is undoubtedly an opportunity within the Foundation's international activity.
ONCE Foundation is also a member of the Council on Foundations (COF), the representative platform of the founding sector in the US, which facilitates us to meet with foundations in North America, multilateral entities and other institutions.