On 11 November, representatives of the European Disability Forum (EDF) met with Viviane Reding, the Vice President of the European Commission to discuss the state of play in preparation of the European Accessibility Act.

A strong and legally binding act would support the access of disabled people to various goods and services in the EU internal market. As the representatives of the EDF stated, some EU Members States are left behind in ensuring that services and goods are accessible to disabled people. The expected European Accessibility Act would therefore be “a strong booster for growth and employment in Europe, while it will also reinforce the European Commission’s recently published legislative proposal on the accessibility of public websites”, stated EDF President, Yannis Vardakastanis.

The Vice President expressed the European Commission’s commitment to the production of the legislative proposal of the Act in its 2014 work plan. She stated that preparatory work has been done to assess the impact of measures to be included in the legislation act. According to Viviane Reding, the Commission aims for a binding proposal which would improve the accessibility and support growth potential for EU companies.

Despite the EU member States ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled Persons, accessibility barriers remain an obstacle to full inclusion of disabled people.

EDF’s Freedom of Movement Top Campaign calls also on the EU to proceed to the adoption of the European Accessibility Act, expecting that such legislation would bring improvement in the accessibility to goods and services for disabled people in the EU countries.

Published 02/12/2013