Directive (EU) 2019/882 on the accessibility requirements for products and services

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Series Details L 151
Publication Date 07/06/2019
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Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 April 2019 aiming to improve the proper functioning of the internal market and remove and prevent barriers for the free movement of accessible products and services.

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The demand for accessible products and services is high and the number of citizens with disabilities and/or functional limitations will increase significantly with the ageing of the European Union's population. Taking into account demographic ageing, it is expected that in 2020 approximately 120 million persons in the European Union will have multiple and/or minor disabilities. Improving the functioning of the internal market for specific accessible products and services, serves both the needs of these consumers and industry.

At present, economic operators are confronted with divergent, and often contradictory, national accessibility requirements preventing them from benefitting from the internal market potential. This Directive aims to support Member States to achieve their national commitments as well as their obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) regarding accessibility.

Following a public consultation on a European Accessibility Act, launched in December 2011 in the framework of the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020, a proposal was presented by the European Commission in December 2015. The European Parliament approved its negotiating position on the proposed Directive on 25 April 2017. The Council of the European Union agreed its position on the draft law on 7 December.

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Commentary and Analysis
European Parliament: DG Internal Policies: The European Accessibility Act: In-depth analysis [August 2016]
EurActiv: Special Report, 05/12/2016: European Accessibility Act
Politico, 10/12/2016: Disability rights law stuck in Eurocracy
EUObserver, 06/03/2017: Realism and compromises for a European Accessibility Act
EPRS: Plenary At a Glance, September 2017: European Accessibility Act
EPRS: Briefing, November 2017: European Accessibility Act [EU Legislation in Progress]

Euronews, 06/03/2017: Protesters gather outside European Parliament over Accessibility Act

EUR-Lex: COM(2015)615: Proposal for a Directive on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States as regards the accessibility requirements for products and services
EUR-Lex: SWD(2015)264: Impact assessment accompanying COM(2015)615
EUR-Lex: SWD(2015)265: Executive summary of the impact assessment accompanying COM(2015)615
EUR-Lex: SWD(2015)266: Implementation plan accompanying COM(2015)615
European Commission: Press Release, 02/12/2015: Commission proposes to make products and services more accessible to the disabled persons
European Commission: Fact Sheet, 02/12/2015: Disabilities: proposal for an Accessibility Act [FAQ]
European Commission: Speech, 02/12/2015: Press remarks by Employment, Social Affairs and Labour Mobility Commissioner Marianne Thyssen on the European Accessibility Act
European Parliament: Press Release, 25/04/2017: Products and services to be made more accessible for disabled persons in the EU
European Parliament: Press Release, 14/09/2017: Disabled persons to have better access to products and services in the EU
Council of Europe: Press Release, 07/12/2017: Accessibility for products and services: Council agrees its position
European Commission: Statement, 07/12/2017: Commission welcomes Member States' agreement on the European Accessibility Act, but calls for more ambition on responsibilities of public authorities

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