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People with disabilities still face various barriers to move freely

26 January 2016 | Today, a delegation from EDF, headed by EDF Vice-President Gunta Anca, met the EU Commissioner for Transport and Mobility, Violeta Bulc. The meeting was arranged to discuss the UN’s concluding observations: the recommendations by the UN to the EU on how to better promote and protect the rights of 80 million people with disabilities – in particular the recommendations on transport.

In its concluding observations, UN recommends the EU:
  • to strengthen the monitoring and implementation of EU passengers’ rights legislation
  • to harmonize the work of the designated National Enforcement Bodies in order to ensure the effective and equal enjoyment of rights of all passengers with disabilities across the EU
Furthermore, EDF raised the topic of the European Commission’s recently published proposal of the European Accessibility Act and whether accessibility of transport was addressed sufficiently.

EDF Vice-President, Gunta Anca, underlined: “Passengers’ rights have been in many ways one of the success stories in EU policy-making to facilitate freedom of movement of persons with disabilities. However, luck of accessibility is often still a barrier. There are many issues still to be tackled to make independent, spontaneous and seamless travel a reality for everyone in the EU.”

Commissioner Bulc responded to EDF’s questions on the next steps that the Commission would take regarding transport policy to implement the UN’s recommendations. The Commissioner proposed specific actions to address accessibility for persons with disabilities within the Commission's transport policy. For 2016, the focus will be on Rail Passengers' Rights and for next year, an initiative on multi-modality is to be expected which will address the rights of person with disabilities. Ms Bulc confirmed her commitment to improve accessibility in transport and to work close to the disability movement to achieve this. She also welcomed feedback from EDF on an ongoing basis on the experience of passengers with disabilities in the EU.

EDF and its members are looking forward to further cooperation with Commissioner Bulc to improve freedom of movement for persons with disabilities in Europe.

Contact: Marie Denninghaus | EDF Transport & Mobility officer |