The First Report on the application by Member States on the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) was adopted by the European Commission in May 2012. The revised EU regulatory for electronic communications containing enhanced measures for end-users with disabilities has been transposed by the Member States and the Commission monitors the implementation of these EU rules at national level. In November 2013, the Commission published the Study on Assessing and Promoting eAccessibility analysising the situation of e-accessibility across the EU27 countries and some third countries, as well as the policy efforts that have emerged in the field of e-accessibility with particular focus in three key domains – web, telecoms and TV.
The action aimed at implementing by 2011 the provisions on disability in the and the .
What is the problem? People with disabilities face various problems accessing the web, emergency numbers and digital TV
Accessibility and usability can be serious problems for Europeans with disabilities.
It prevents them to fully participate in the information society. Beyond web accessibility, accessibility of electronic communications (notably the 112 emergency number) and audiovisual services (notably digital TV) is particularly relevant.
Why is EU Action required? Preventing a digital divide
Improving ICT accessibility will help members of disadvantaged social groups to participate on an equal footing in the digital society and to have equal opportunities in terms of social interaction, employability, daily life and protection in case of emergencies.
What has the Commission done so far?
- Member States were required to transpose the revised telecoms package into national legislation by May 2011, including the new rules for disabled end-users in the electronic communications sector and equivalence in access to emergency services by disabled end-users and single European emergency call number 112 under Directive 2002/22/EC. The Commission monitors the transposition and implementation of EU legislation by the Member States.
- The Commission also cooperates with national regulatory authorities and the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) in the implementation of the revised regulatory framework, including the new rules for disabled end-users.
- In February 2011, BEREC already published a report on ensuring equivalence in access and choice for disabled end-users in the electronic communications sector and identified a set of measures for the implementation of the revised rules on disabled end-users by national regulatory authorities.
- In November 2013, BEREC organised a workshop on accessibility, with the participation of the Commission, and including presentation of measures and best practices to be implemented by national regulators to improve accessibility for disabled citizens in the electronica communications sector.
- The Commission proposal for a Regulation laying down measures concerning the European single market for electronic communications and to achieve a Connected Continent adopted on 11 September 2013 (COM(2013)627), contains enhanced provisions on rights of disabled end-users rights in the electronic communications sector, including requirements of transparency and publication of information and information requirements for contracts regarding the choice of services and products designed for disabled consumers.
- On 4 November 2013, the Commission published the Study on Assessing and Promoting eAccessibility analysing the situation of e-accessibility across the EU27 countries and some third countries, as well as the policy efforts that have emerged in the field of e-accessibility with particular focus in three key domains – web, telecoms and TV.
- The Commission issued a report on the implementation of the AVMS Directive (July 2012) and will monitor and support its implementation.
What will the Commission do next?
- The Commission will assess the effectiveness of the measures provided for in Article 7 AVMSD in the 2nd Application Report due in May 2015. It will also follow-up on the replies to The Green Paper Consultation on Convergence as regards further standardization needs and incentives to encourage investments in innovative services for people with disabilities.
- The Commission will continue to monitor the transposition and implementation in Member of the revised EU telecoms rules on disabled end-users and cooperate with natioanl regulatory authorities in Member States and BEREC in the implementation of these rules.
- The BEREC Work Programme for 2014 includes the review of the report on ensuring equivalence in access and choice for disabled end-users in the electronic communications.
- The Commission will continue to benchmark e-accessibility.