23 Member States are running late with the European Accessibility Act



23 Member States are running late with the European Accessibility Act

On 28 June 2022, the European Accessibility Act had to be transposed into national law according to the deadline set in the legislation that was adopted in 2019. But has that actually happened? And what will change for persons with disabilities now?

The European Accessibility Act is an EU law that should ensure the accessibility of a range of products and services for persons with disabilities. They include for example banking services, ticketing machines, computers, tablets, smart phones, TVs, e-books, or online shopping.

Since the adopted law takes the form of an EU Directive, it means that the provisions are not directly applicable but Member States first have to include them in their national laws. This can be either in the form of a new law on accessibility, or by including the accessibility provisions in a range of existing national laws – this is up to the Member States to decide.

We have supported our members throughout the transposition period to try and push for more ambitious national laws, as it is allowed to apply stricter provisions than foreseen in the EU law. For example, the clause on making the built environment accessible is voluntary in the text of the EU law but can be made compulsory in national law.

But for now, only four Member States have officially notified the European Commission that they finalized transposition and published their national laws: Austria, Belgium, Estonia, and Finland. The details of the national laws (in the national language(s)) can be found on the EUR-Lex platform – there you can also see an updated list of the Member States.

However, the fact that the Accessibility Act is now officially law in those 4 Member States does not say anything about the quality of the text(s). And, of course, we will continue to support EDF members who are still working on the transposition in the other Member States as well as supporting the implementation of the provisions for example through the related Standardisation mandates.

Companies have now another 3 years of transition period to apply the new rules and make the necessary changes. For some specific products and services, such as ticketing machines, this can be even longer. But we hope that not all Member States make use of those exceptions to advance as quickly as possible in making products and services in the EU more accessible for persons with disabilities.


More information

EDF European Accessibility Act toolkit

Contact

Marie Denninghaus – Senior Policy Coordinator
marie.denninghaus@edf-feph.org


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