skip to content
Belgian Disability Forum

European accessibility Act

 

Ascertainment

Economic operators now have to comply with different and often contradictory national accessibility requirements, so that they can not benefit from the potential of the internal market.

People with disabilities are often victim of this situation and have to cope with a great inaccessibility with regard to goods and services, for technical and financial reasons. This situation is very disadvantageous to the application of 2 fundamental rights: the right to self-reliance and the right to participate in social life.

 

Purpose

The aim of the European Commission's proposal is to contribute to a better functioning internal market and to remove the obstacles to the free movement of accessible products and services. Link to the proposal of directive: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:52015PC0615&from=EN

The directive will contribute to the concrete implementation of the Commission's work program for the year 2015, which aims to make accessibility a catalyst for social inclusion.« The European Commission is committed to equal opportunities for people with disabilities, in full compliance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This also includes the accessibility of the physical environment, transport, information and communication technology and systems (ICT) and other facilities and services.» Link to COM(2014) 910 final « audit program for 2015 - A new start », available through next link: https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/decision-making-process_en

 

 

Context

The proposed directive will define a common definition and application framework for the accessibility requirements applicable to certain products and services for the whole European Union.

Application Area

Proposed Directive provides for harmonised accessibility requirements for a list of products and services and the use of the same accessibility requirements, to define the content of mandatory accessibility, which already exists in European Union legislation but without definition (e.g. in the field of public procurement and of Structural and Investment Funds). 

Accessibility and free movement requirements

The proposed Directive will improve the functioning of the internal market by removing barriers created by differences in national legislation through harmonised mandatory accessibility requirements for a list of products and services. The list is the result of a study and is based on various external public and internal consultations, on the needs of business and of people with disabilities and on a survey of experts in the field of accessibility legislation.

It will support enterprises by applying the same functional accessibility requirements for accessibility as those laid down in EU legislation for the transposition of the obligation to procure/subsidise accessible products and services.

Application in the Member States

The Directive does not specify in detail how a product or service should in practice become compulsorily accessible because it would have to comply with the accessibility requirements laid down. If this situation continues to give rise to barriers in the internal market, the Commission will be able to devise other solutions for the future to guide Member States, such as standardisation measures or implementation measures.

To ensure the correct implementation and enforcement of accessibility, the Directive uses light conformity assessment procedures (self-declarations) and existing market surveillance mechanisms to assess whether products meet accessibility requirements. A lighter procedure for checking the conformity of services is also foreseen.

The Directive shall fix the date on which the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary for its entry into force at the latest two years after its entry into force.

The Directive requires Member States to implement all measures within six years of its entry into force.

 

BDF position and platform of advisory councils of disabled people

 

Opinion of the NSCPD

Opinion No 2016/05 of the National Supreme Council for Persons with Disabilities (NSCPD) delivered at the plenary session of 21 March 2016.

 

Interpellation of the Belgian Europarliamentarians

 

Interpellation of the Belgian governments