New EU Rules Will Make Public Sector Websites More Accessible

New European Union rules were adopted on 26 October 2016 in Strasbourg, as the European Parliament formally approved the Directive on the accessibility of the websites and mobile applications of public sector bodies.  The European Council and Commission agreed on the Directive in May 2016 (press release) and the Council adopted a new draft in July 2016. The rules will now be published in the Official Journal and will officially enter into force. Member states will have 21 months to include the text in their national legislation. In the European Commission statement, Vice-President Ansip and Commissioner Oettinger said: ‘Everyone should benefit from the opportunities offered by the internet and fully participate in the digital society. Today’s adoption is an important step in the right direction. New rules will ensure that people with disabilities – especially blind, deaf and hard of hearing persons – can more easily access and use the websites and mobile applications of public services.’