Disability can no longer be an obstacle

2019. 03. 20.

Press release by Ádám Kósa 

The European Parliament’s plenary session has adopted the European Accessibility Directive, which defines the accessibility requirements for certain products and services. Ádám Kósa, the Fidesz MEP responsible for the legislation on behalf of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, expressed his gratitude to all those who have worked with him for nearly four years to help the directive take its final shape.

The selection of products and services governed by the Directive was preceded by thorough consultation with citizens, organizations representing disabled people and other businesses. As a result, once the legislation comes into force, ATMs and other banking services, personal computers, telephones, televisions and audiovisual services, transportation, electronic books and online shopping will become accessible throughout Europe.

Ádám Kósa, co-chair of the Disability Intergroup of the European Parliament, reminded the EP plenary how long it took for the law to come into being. Kósa, the first deaf member of the European Parliament, began working in 2010 on the mobility and inclusion of people with disabilities, and the report on the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020, which was adopted in 2011 by the European Parliament. In this report, he called on the Commission to submit a legislative proposal about a European Accessibility Package and highlighted the need to improve the accessibility of goods and services for people with disabilities in a firm and binding manner on the EU level. Years later, in 2015, the European Commission finally tabled the draft, a proposal awaited by 80 million Europeans with disabilities.

“Today, after almost four years of persistent work, we can finally say that a well-balanced text was born, which is a great achievement from the perspective of both social and economic development,” Kósa said and added: “although, I know that it would have been good to make even greater progress in certain areas, the closing of the negotiations was urgent in order not to delay the entry into force of the legislation.” Kósa expressed his hope that members of the next European Parliament will address the issue of facilitating the lives of people with disabilities as a topic of similar importance and work will continue. “Personally, I am still ready to work for people with disabilities and, together with them, for a Europe where disability can no longer be an obstacle,” Kósa concluded.