Civil Society pushes for a strong Accessibility Act

16 November 2016
Stamp saying "access"

Accessibility is not a right that can be compromised

EDF, together with its partners at Social Platform, AGE Platform Europe, and ANEC, presented its position and draft amendments on the European Accessibility Act to the new Rapporteur of the  European Parliament. The new Rapporteur, Morten Løkkegaard, only took up this position a few weeks ago and EDF had therefore requested a meeting to underline the importance of the Accessibility Act for the disability movement, but also for an inclusive society for everyone.

The adoption of a meaningful, strong and ambitious Accessibility Act is what EDF and its members across Europe have been strongly campaigning for the last 5 years; the Act has the potential to bring real improvements in the lives of everyone including 80 million persons with disabilities and 150 million older people in Europe. Last weekend, the EDF Board adopted a resolution underlining that accessibility is a right enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) which the European Union (EU) and all its Member States -except Ireland- have ratified, and it cannot be compromised. With this resolution, EDF and its members are calling on:

  • the European Parliament to continue supporting a strong, ambitious and meaningful Act with a broad scope of goods and services, including Audiovisual Media Services and e-books, in order to respond to the rights and expectations of the 80 million European persons with disabilities, as it has done successfully already with the recently adopted Web Directive and with its resolution of 7th July 2016 on the implementation of the CRPD;
  • the Council of the EU to live up to its obligations to implement the UN CRPD in the EU and to take appropriate steps for a swift adoption of the proposal while consulting persons with disabilities and their representative organisations both at the EU and national levels at all steps of the decision-making process.

During the meeting with the rapporteur, Social Platform explained the importance of the Accessibility Act related to access to services and equal treatment. AGE Platform Europe pointed out that the Accessibility Act would benefit a much broader group of older people, which will grow significantly over the next years. Both EDF and ANEC called on the Rapporteur to ensure that a strong and progressive piece of legislation will be adopted and explained ways in which the proposal could be improved.

It is now up to the Rapporteur and to the Parliament’s Committee on Internal Market (IMCO) to prepare the position of the European Parliament, taking into account the opinions of several other Committees such as the Committees on Petitions, Transport, Employment, Culture, and Women’s Rights.

The position of the Parliament is expected to be finalized in sprin 2017.

Read more about our campaign on Freedom of Movement and the Accessibility Act

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