Brussels, 11 July 2018
July 2018 | While Austria has just started its Presidency, AGE Platform Europe expects the negotiations to be finally concluded after more than two years of procedure.
Millions of people in Europe are still excluded from using basic products and services that are taken for granted for other people. The European Accessibility Act will provide the opportunity to harmonise the accessibility obligations and requirements for products and services within the European Union’s internal market, reducing barriers and costs for all citizens including 80 million persons with disabilities and 190 million people aged 50 and older.
We therefore call on the Austrian Presidency of the European Union to build on the progress made during the Bulgarian Presidency to finally deliver a strong and effective European Accessibility Act.
“The European Accessibility Act is a key instrument for promoting age-friendly environments and addressing Europe’s demographic ageing in a sustainable and effective way”, pointed out Anne-Sophie Parent, AGE Secretary General, “AGE Platform Europe and its members warmly welcome the commitment of the Austrian Presidency to conclude the negotiations on this essential EU legislation .”
With the ratification by Ireland in March 2018, the European Union and now all Member States have ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD), which commits them, under article 9 of the CRPD, to deliver accessible products and services to all their citizens. This is why the European Accessibility Act should be one of the priorities (the so-called ‘big issues’) of the EU Presidency, on which the EU has to deliver promptly. Only then will the motto of the Austrian Presidency ‘A Europe that protects’ include ALL citizens, including persons with disabilities and older persons.
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