European Accessibility Act

15-07-2019

To ensure the full participation of people with disabilities in society, and to reduce the fragmentation of legislation governing access to products and services, the European Commission has adopted a proposal for a directive – often referred to as the European Accessibility Act. This proposal, published on 2 December 2015, provides for a common EU definition of, and implementation framework for, accessibility requirements for certain products and services. It also aims to use the same accessibility requirements to provide a clear definition of the existing general accessibility obligation laid down in European law. Many stakeholders welcomed the European Union's wish to honour its responsibilities under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, but they were divided on the means to reach this objective. In the European Parliament, the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) adopted its report on 25 April 2017, which was discussed in plenary on 15 September. At the same time, Parliament gave a mandate to start negotiations with the Council. On 7 December 2017, the Council agreed on a position (general approach). On 8 November 2018, the EP and the Council came to a provisional agreement. The agreed text was adopted by the EP on 13 March 2019, then by the Council on 27 March, and published in the Official Journal on 7 June 2019. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

To ensure the full participation of people with disabilities in society, and to reduce the fragmentation of legislation governing access to products and services, the European Commission has adopted a proposal for a directive – often referred to as the European Accessibility Act. This proposal, published on 2 December 2015, provides for a common EU definition of, and implementation framework for, accessibility requirements for certain products and services. It also aims to use the same accessibility requirements to provide a clear definition of the existing general accessibility obligation laid down in European law. Many stakeholders welcomed the European Union's wish to honour its responsibilities under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, but they were divided on the means to reach this objective. In the European Parliament, the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) adopted its report on 25 April 2017, which was discussed in plenary on 15 September. At the same time, Parliament gave a mandate to start negotiations with the Council. On 7 December 2017, the Council agreed on a position (general approach). On 8 November 2018, the EP and the Council came to a provisional agreement. The agreed text was adopted by the EP on 13 March 2019, then by the Council on 27 March, and published in the Official Journal on 7 June 2019. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.