Tag Archives: Disabled person

Rights of people with reduced mobility in air transport

Rights of people with reduced mobility in air transport

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Rights of people with reduced mobility in air transport

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Transport > Mobility and passenger rights

Rights of people with reduced mobility in air transport

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006 of the Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 concerning the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air.

Summary

The regulation on the rights of persons with reduced mobility when using air transport prohibits operators from refusing reservation or boarding to persons because of their reduced mobility or disability *.

There are certain exceptions and derogations, however, particularly for justified safety reasons established by law. An air carrier may refuse to accept a reservation from or to embark a person with reduced mobility or request that a travelling person with reduced mobility or disability must be accompanied by another person, in order to meet applicable safety requirements duly established by law or if the size of the aircraft makes it physically impossible to embark that person.

Within five working days of refusing a reservation or embarkation or requiring a person with reduced mobility or disability to be accompanied, the air carrier must inform in writing the person concerned of its reasons for doing so.

Persons with reduced mobility or disability are entitled to receive the assistance specified in the regulation free of charge in airports (on departure, arrival and during transit) and on board aircrafts (for example, the transport of wheelchairs and the carriage of guide dogs for the blind).

The managing bodies of airports should provide this assistance and may fund the services by levying a specific charge on airlines.

European Union (EU) countries and other concerned countries (European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries) will be required to lay down penalties for infringements and to set up independent bodies to deal with complaints.

The Commission must report to the European Parliament and the Council by 1 January 2010 at the latest on the implementation and effects of the regulation.

Key terms used in the act
  • “Disabled person” or “person with reduced mobility”: any person whose mobility when using transport is reduced due to any physical disability (sensory or locomotor, permanent or temporary), intellectual disability or impairment, or any other cause of disability, or age, and whose situation needs appropriate attention and the adaptation to his or her particular needs of the service made available to all passengers.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006

15.8.2006

26.7.2008

(Articles 3 and 4: 26.7.2007)

OJ L 204, 26.7.2006

Related Acts

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the functioning and effects of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 concerning the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air [COM(2011) 166 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The report concluded that Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006 has brought advantages to disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility (PRM); in particular a single framework of protection, a clear division of tasks between airports and air carriers, and the establishment of a network of National Enforcement Bodies (NEB) in all EU countries.
The Commission did, however, find some difficulties in applying the regulation which might weaken its impact. These problem areas include:

  • a sometimes insufficient quality of service provided and inadequate adaption to PRM’s individual needs;
  • insufficient information provided to passengers;
  • fragile and expensive handling mobility equipment;
  • restrictions on accepting reservations from or embarking PRMs on the grounds of safety;
  • insufficient in-flight assistance by the air carriers, in particular in moving to toilet facilities;
  • conflicting interpretations of the definition of mobility equipment that must be carried free of charge by the air carriers;
  • disparities in the implementation of the regulation between EU countries;
  • disagreements over the amount of and the method of calculating and imposing charges;
  • difficulty in interpreting certain important definitions, such as whether pregnant women, overweight people or young children are included in the definition of persons with reduced mobility;
  • transporting and supplying medical oxygen.

As the initial assessment finds that the implementation of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006 is overall positive, a legislative review is not necessary at this stage. The Commission does, however, propose a number of axes of improvement within the existing framework, including:

  • a uniform interpretation of the regulation;
  • improving how the regulatory instruments work in practice;
  • strengthening the efficacy of the penalities and their supervision by national authorities;
  • handling the issue of the transport and supply of medical oxygen.

Communication from the Commission of 7 August 2008 on the scope of the liability of air carriers and airports in the event of destroyed, damaged or lost mobility equipment of passengers with reduced mobility when travelling by air [COM(2008) 510 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
Based on the “Study on the compensation thresholds for damaged or lost equipment and devices belonging to air passengers with reduced mobility” launched by the Commission, this communication presents the current challenges faced by persons with reduced mobility when their mobility equipment is lost or damaged, as well as the solutions provided by Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006.
In terms of quantitative objectives, the aim is to reduce the number of incidents regarding mobility equipment. To this end, the regulation establishes the legal obligation for airlines and airports to design procedures for and train staff on the assistance of people with reduced mobility. As a qualitative objective, the aim is to minimise the consequences of an incident. In this regard, there is:

  • a lack of common procedures that would lead to an immediate solution, which is covered in part by the regulation;
  • disparity in the nature and limits of the liability between airlines and airports, to whom an obligation of compensation that conforms to international, EU and national law is bestowed by the regulation;
  • the problem of inadequate compensations and procedures; however, the regulation should diminish the amount of incidents and their consequences, which are currently already rather minimal;
  • a question on the definition of “baggage” and the role of mobility equipment thereof, for which the Commission aims to launch discussions within the ICAO, so that mobility equipment is either excluded from the definition or the liability limits imposed on “baggage” by international conventions are amended in view of levelling out compensations on destroyed, damaged or lost mobility equipment with the actual value of that equipment.

Following the future assessment of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006, if enough progress has not been achieved, the Commission will propose improvements to the current legislative framework regarding the rights of persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air.

Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights, and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 295/91 [Official Journal L 46 of 17.02.2004].

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council: “Protection of air passengers in the European Union” [COM(2000) 365 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

European Disability Strategy

European Disability Strategy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about European Disability Strategy

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Employment and social policy > Social measures for target groups: disability and old age

European Disability Strategy (2010-2020)

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 15 November 2010 – European Disability Strategy 2010-2020: A Renewed Commitment to a Barrier-Free Europe [COM(2010) 636 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Commission presents a strategy to increase the participation of people with disabilities in society and the economy, and enable them to fully exercise their rights.

The strategy is based on the effective implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Furthermore, the Commission’s action forms part of the Europe 2020 Strategy, and is based on the provisions of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights and of the Lisbon Treaty.

In order to foster the inclusion of people with disabilities, the Commission has identified eight areas for joint action between the EU and Member States. The areas were identified following an analysis of the results of the EU Disability Action Plan (2003-2010) and consultations carried out in Member States.

Accessibility

People with disabilities must have access to goods, services and assistive devices. Similarly, their access to transport, facilities, and information and communication technologies must be ensured in the same way as for able-bodied people.

Participation

People with disabilities must be able to fully exercise their fundamental rights as regards European citizenship. This Strategy must contribute to:

  • overcoming obstacles to the mobility of people with disabilities – as individuals, consumers, students, and economic and political actors;
  • guaranteeing the quality of hospital care and accommodation in residential institutions, financed by the Structural Funds;
  • guaranteeing accessibility of organisations, venues and services, including those relating to sports and culture.

Equality

Active policies must be implemented in order to promote equality at European level and in Member States. Furthermore, the Commission must ensure that European legislation is strictly applied to combat discrimination based on disability, particularly Directive 2000/78/EC for equal treatment in employment and occupation.

Employment

European action must allow the number of disabled workers in the traditional labour market to be increased, in particular by introducing active employment policies and improving accessibility to workplaces.

Action is also required in collaboration with social partners to foster intra-job mobility (including in sheltered workshops), to encourage self-employment and to improve the quality of jobs.

Education and training

Disabled pupils and students must benefit from an accessible education system and lifelong learning programmes. The Strategy therefore supports the accessibility of general education systems, individual support measures, and the training of professionals working in education.

In addition, people with disabilities must be better informed about the possibilities of training and mobility, in particular as part of the Youth on the Move initiative and the Education and Training 2020 strategy.

Social protection

Social protection systems can compensate for the income inequalities, risks of poverty and social exclusion to which people with disabilities are subject. In this context, the performance and sustainability of social protection systems should be assessed, including with regard to pension systems, public housing programs and access to basic services.

The strategy encourages the use of Structural Funds and the adoption of appropriate national measures.

Health

People with disabilities must benefit from equality of access to services and health facilities, including mental health facilities. In order to safeguard this principle of equality, services must be affordable and appropriate to people’s specific needs.

Additionally, specific attention should be paid to the health and safety of disabled workers.

External action

The EU undertakes to promote the rights of people with disabilities at international level. Its action is carried out in the context of the enlargement, neighbourhood and development policies as well as within international institutions such as the Council of Europe or the UN.

Implementation

The Strategy is based on a joint commitment of the EU institutions and the Member States. Their joint actions are aimed at:

  • raising society’s awareness of disability-related issues and promoting the rights of people with disabilities;
  • developing European funding possibilities;
  • improving the collection and processing of statistical data;
  • ensuring that the enforcement of the United Nations Convention is monitored in Member States and within European institutions.

Copyright in the Knowledge Economy

Copyright in the Knowledge Economy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Copyright in the Knowledge Economy

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Internal market > Businesses in the internal market > Intellectual property

Copyright in the Knowledge Economy

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 19 October 2009 – Copyright in the Knowledge Economy [COM(2009) 532 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

After having analysed the responses generated by the Green Paper on Copyright in the Knowledge Economy, in this Communication the European Commission announces a series of actions to be implemented in the area of intellectual property rights.

What are the positions of the different stakeholders concerned?

The Commission collected 372 responses from the consultation launched by the Green Paper. The analysis of the responses shows radically opposed positions among the following key stakeholders:

  • archives, libraries and universities favour a wider-ranging copyright system, as well as a system of “public interest” exceptions to facilitate access to works;
  • publishers, collecting societies and other right-holders favour the status quo as regards copyright, and prefer contracts which can be adapted to each case and which take account of new technologies.

What is the Commission’s strategy in terms of copyright?

Libraries and archives

Digital copies and electronic dissemination of digitised works represent the two main challenges for libraries and archives. Currently, the digitisation of a library collection is subject to prior approval from right-holders, and the dissemination of works online can only be performed on library premises.

The Commission therefore intends to continue working at European level towards clarifying the legal implications of mass-scale digitisation and providing solutions to the issue of transaction costs for right clearance.

Orphan Works

Orphan works are works that are in copyright but whose right-holders cannot be identified or located. They cannot be exploited because it is impossible to obtain prior permission from the right-holders. Consequently, these works cannot be included in digitisation projects such as the Europeana library. Although the Commission published a Recommendation on the online digitisation of cultural material in 2006, and the Memorandum of Understanding on Orphan Works in 2008, there is no binding legal framework in this field at present.

The Commission plans to launch an impact assessment to explore a variety of approaches to facilitate the digitisation and dissemination of orphan works. Several options are being considered, including a legally binding stand-alone instrument on the clearance and mutual recognition of orphan works (this would be an exception to the provisions of Directive 2001/29/EC), or guidance on cross-border mutual recognition of orphan works.

Teaching and research

Enabled by new information and communication technologies, teaching and research is already widely internationalised. It is therefore important that copyright on books and publications does not hinder the development of these sectors. To this end, different processes in scientific publishing and publishing for literary and artistic aims are being envisaged. Furthermore, the Commission proposes to facilitate the acquisition and use of material for scientific research. Currently, the system is based on licence agreements concluded with publishers. The Commission wishes to consolidate best practice in this field in order to achieve a less fragmented system of usage rights to journals.

Persons with disabilities

The United Nations Convention on the rights of Persons with Disabilities src=”../../../../wel/images/doc_icons/f_pdf_16.gif” Title=”PDF” border=”0″ class=”alIco/”> stipulates that these persons have a fundamental right to enjoy equal access to information products, publications and cultural material in an accessible format. However, persons with disabilities have very limited access to these works for the moment (5 % of books published in Europe are converted into accessible formats). Moreover, the cross-border transfer of this type of material is hampered by the territorial limitation of copyright exceptions under national legislation.

The Commission’s main goal is to encourage publishers to make more works accessible to disabled persons. In this regard, the organisation of a forum bringing together the stakeholders concerned will foster solutions to give persons with disabilities better access to works while ensuring that right-holders are adequately remunerated for the use of their work.

User-created content (UCC)

With the development of Internet applications, users can now produce and share text, videos and pictures or create content, sometimes using copyright-protected material.

However, this phenomenon of content creation by Internet users is still quite recent. For this reason, the Commission intends to analyse the needs of this type of user further with regard to protecting their rights.