At the end of October 2016, the European Parliament approved the Directive on the accessibility of the websites and mobile applications of public sector bodies. In the future, people with disabilities – in particular people with visual or hearing impairments – will have better access to the websites and mobile applications of public authorities.


In 2012, the EU Commission had already put a proposal on the table which was discussed at European level. Following negotiations between the European Parliament, the Council and the EU Commission, the Brussels Authorities presented a draft in May 2016 which was adopted by the Council in July 2016 and which has now been approved by the European Parliament. As soon as the new Directive enters into force, Member States have 21 months to transpose this European Directive into their national legislation.  

The aim of the Directive is to provide equal access in the areas of communication and information where a disability sometimes leads to massive restrictions for those affected.  


The Directive includes, among other things, websites and mobile apps of public sector bodies which provide official content and services on the web. Exceptions include public broadcasters or live broadcasts. In the future, websites should be designed so that the easier to use, easier to understand and are more robust for people with disabilities. For example, a computer mouse should no longer be necessary to access and navigate content so that people with certain physical impairments are also guaranteed access.  

The aim of the new Directive is to overcome most of the restrictions to communication and information that exist today, thus paving the way for an inclusive digital society. A right which is also set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities that has been ratified by the EU. 


The full text as adopted by the Council and approved by the European Parliament can be found here: