Summary title: Petition 0427/2023 by Lorenzo Torto (Italian) on the alleged failure by Italy to fully transpose Directive (EU) 2019/882
Petition number: 0427/2023
Topics: Internal Market - Free movement of persons, Social Affairs, Equal Opportunities and Gender, Fundamental Rights
Name: Lorenzo Torto
The petitioner complains about Italy’s incomplete transposition of the EU rules on the accessibility of products and services for persons with disabilities (Directive (EU) 2019/882). The European Accessibility Act requires essential products and services such as telephones, computers, e-books, banking services and electronic communications to be accessible to persons with disabilities so as to enable their active participation in society, including when it comes to education and employment. The petitioner points out that this Directive should also apply to electronic communications services, such as emergency communications, and considers it regretful that the measures taken by Member States to ensure access for persons with disabilities differ and are not harmonised across the internal market. He proposes that in addition to the voice communication service, providers should also offer real time text and total conversation services (in the case of videos), thus ensuring the synchronisation of all these communication tools, and considers it essential that Member States, in accordance with Directive (EU) 2018/1972, identify a relay service provider for use by persons with disabilities. The petitioner also points out that in the area of air, bus and rail transport services, the Directive provides for the provision of information on transport services to passengers (real-time travel information via websites, mobile device services, interactive information screens and self-service interactive terminals), but the reality is far removed from what the legislation prescribes. The petitioner considers that urban local authorities in Italy should be encouraged to integrate barrier-free accessibility in transport services in their sustainable urban mobility plans and should also be encouraged to regularly publish a list of best practices in the field of accessibility. He complains that the Italian state is not implementing the fundamental criterion of accessibility, which should be achieved through the systematic removal and prevention of barriers by applying the principle of universal design or ‘design for all’, which helps to ensure access for persons with disabilities on an equal basis with others. The petitioner therefore calls for infringement proceedings to be launched against Italy for the incomplete transposition of Directive (EU) 2019/882, which is the EU standard when it comes to the accessibility of products and services for persons with disabilities.