Human rights of people with disabilities must come before profit
This week the European Parliament's Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO) voted on the Accessibility Act for people with disabilities with very disappointing results.
GUE/NGL Shadow Rapporteur, Jiři Maštálka, regrets the outcome of the vote in which the right-wing members of the committee again favoured business demands over the rights of people, including those most vulnerable ones.
“It is very disappointing and a missed opportunity, said Mr. Maštálka. “GUE/NGL will continue to work hard to do everything possible to improve the text for the June plenary, so that 80 million people with disabilities and 150 million older people in Europe as well as all of the continent's consumers can benefit from a wide-reaching and ambitious legal text which will make a real difference in their lives.”
The European Accessibility Act is a proposal for a law that would make many products and services in the European Union more accessible for people with disabilities.
Kostadinka Kuneva, who is the Rapporteur for the Accessibility Act in the Committee on Petitions and Shadow Rapporteur in the Womens Rights and Gender Equality and Employment and Social Affairs Committees, added:
''It is regrettable that despite finding common ground among all the other committees involved in the report and achieving a broad political consensus among the parties always in open consultation with the disability organisations, the IMCO Committee and its Rapporteur chose to disregard our recommendations."
"In a scandalous move that lowered the standards below what the Commission proposed (regarding accessibility of the built environment, exceptions for small and medium enterprises and weakened monitoring procedures), the final report is a disappointment to people with disabilities and a disgrace for Europe as the market is once again prioritised at all costs.
"The report adopted by the IMCO Committee also offers the Commission a 'carte blanche' to amend the Directive through delegated acts without consulting with the Parliament.
"This was a unique chance to set the world's largest minority free and offered an unprecedented opportunity for their demarginalisation, but IMCO ignorantly chose to turn a blind eye.
"GUE/NGL will continue to fight for the rights of people with disabilities so that no one is left behind,' concluded Kuneva.