European Parliament, don’t miss the opportunity for a meaningful Accessibility Act!

12 September 2017
Activists outside the European Parliament in Brussels calling for a strong Accessibility Act

MEPs, vote for strong amendments in Thursday’s plenary!

Last week, the Political Groups of the European Parliament tabled amendments on the proposal of the European Accessibility Act. We strongly campaigned for our five priorities to be reflected in these amendments and all the amendments we proposed were indeed tabled. This Thursday, 14 September, the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) will vote on the proposed amendments on the Accessibility Act. The vote will take place during the plenary session in the European Parliament in Strasbourg . This is a crucial moment in our battle for a strong Accessibility Act. We are calling on MEPs to listen to our voices and support our priorities. That is the only way in which the Accessibility Act could make a real difference in the lives of all people in Europe, including 80 million persons with disabilities and 150 million older people.

We are calling on MEPs to:

  1. Reinsert the applicability of the Accessibility Act to other Union acts such as public procurement or the EU Structural Funds (Article 1(3)). Taxpayers’ money should be spent on accessible products and services and the Accessibility Act provides a set of accessibility requirements that can be used for this purpose. This is an aspect on which industry and users agree. For this, we recommend you to reject IMCO report amendment 78

  2. Adopt a strong, binding clause on the built environment (Article 3 (10)). Apart from infringing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD), it would not make sense to impose accessibility requirements for products and services but not the built environment to access them, e.g. the inaccessible building of the bank with an accessible cash machine (ATM) inside. Adopt plenary amendment 245 or 270 (identical); if these are not adopted please adopt amendments 224 or 229 (identical))

  3. Re-stablish the obligations for all businesses, including for microenterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) (Art. 12) in order to cover crucial services such as e-commerce or e-books, which are driven by small companies. This will also avoid creating unfair competitive advantage for non-EU businesses, who may import inaccessible goods through microenterprises and distort the Internal Market. Reject IMCO report amendments 21, 80 and 126.

  4. Reject the limitation to transport accessibility proposed by the IMCO Committee because this would exclude important modes of transport such as metros, trams, or local buses. The Passengers’ Rights legislation is also not suitable as a reference because it deals with assistance rather than accessibility! Reject IMCO amendments 77, 89, 90, 91 and 92

  5. Include sector-specific accessibility requirements in Annex I because the requirements are an essential part of the proposal and they can never be covered by sectorial legislation to the same level of quality and detail. Audiovisual Media Services: Support plenary amendments 252 (art 1.2.b), 254 or 269 (identical) (art. 3.5), 298 (Section IV). Sector-specific accessibility requirements: 299 – 306, 361 and 362 (Section IX); Transport: 308 – 335 (Section V). Support services: 344, 346, 352, 356, 360.

Other important amendments:

  • Other Union Acts: support plenary amendments 247, 281, 282;
  • Transport: 235 - 238 – 240; 242 – 244; 246; 248; 253, 259 - 262
  • Definitions: 267, 268
  • Enforcement and implementation: 286 – 289 ** All amendments tabled will be improving the text except amendments 227 & 241. Please vote in favour of amendments but vote against amendments 227 & 241!**

Meet us in Strasbourg!

EDF will host an information stall inside the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday and Thursday. The purpose is to raise awareness and provide information about the Accessibility Act to MEPs, journalists and all people who are interested.

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