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Thursday, December 3, 2015


from a Press Release | Dec. 2, 2015
as published by the European Disability Forum

What does it mean for 80 million people with disabilities in Europe?

Brussels, 2 December 2015 | Today the European Commission published the European Accessibility Act. EDF welcomes this long-awaited piece of legislation that has been at the centre of its Freedom of Movement campaign for over three years. 

Persons with disabilities currently face barriers to free movement within the EU on an equal basis with others. The European Accessibility Act has great potential to bring a positive change. The Act, which takes the form of a Directive, will have a major influence on the accessibility of goods and services for persons with disabilities in the EU.

The publication of the proposal follows the recommendations made by the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities earlier in September calling on the EU to adopt the Accessibility Act as a step towards better implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD).

EDF President, Yannis Vardakastanis, stated: “We highly appreciate that Commissioner Thyssen has delivered on her commitment to publish the Act this year. Tomorrow is the International Day of Persons with Disabilitiesfocusing on access and empowerment. The Act can contribute to the empowerment of persons with disabilities to better enjoy the freedom of movement of persons, goods and services in the European Single Market. For many years, the Act has been a top priority for EDF and its members through our Freedom of Movement campaign. In the coming weeks and months EDF and its members will work together with the EU institutions, partner organisations and other stakeholders to make this piece of legislation meaningful for 80 million people with disabilities in Europe”.
The Commission has planned an initial consultation period of 8 weeks in which stakeholders can give their feedback and in which EDF will participate. It will be followed by the regular legislative procedure involving the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.

In the meantime, EDF is now working on a more detailed analysis of the text. A comprehensive position will be published soon.


The European Disability Forum website: http://www.edf-feph.org/default.asp

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