Written by Marie Lecerf (2nd edition),
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 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 welcome the European Union’s wish to honour its responsibilities under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, but they have been 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. The report was then discussed in plenary on 15 September. The amended text was approved by 537 votes to 12, with 89 abstentions. At the same time, Parliament gave a mandate to start negotiations with Council. Although the Council has published three progress reports, in June and December 2016 and in June 2017, it has yet to agree on its position.
|Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States as regards the accessibility requirements for products and services|
|Committee responsible:||Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO)||COM(2015) 615
(COD)Ordinary legislative procedure (COD – Parliament and Council on equal footing, formerly ‘co-decision’)
|Rapporteur:||Morten Løkkegaard (ALDE, Denmark)|
|Sabine Verheyen (EPP, Germany)
Olga Sehnalová (S&D, Czech Republic)
Anneleen Van Bossuyt (ECR, Belgium)
Jiří Maštálka (GUE/NGL, Czech Republic)
Igor Šoltes (Greens/EFA, Slovenia)
Marco Zullo (EFDD, Italy)
Marcus Pretzell (ENF, Germany)
|Next steps expected:||Opening of trilogue negotiations|