Marlene Mizzi supports new measures to make online public services more accessible
MEP Marlene Mizzi supported new measures agreed by the European Parliament making it easier for disabled and elderly people to access public services, websites and apps of public administrations, such as hospitals, courts and other public sectors bodies on the internet.
“Access to public websites on the internet and e-government is extremely important and will soon be indispensable. Public administrations are becoming more digitalised and soon people will need to send their tax declaration, pay their bills and taxes, and apply for allowance, digitally. That is why it is extremely important to make public websites and applications accessible to everyone,” commented MEP Mizzi shortly after the vote.
Under the new rules, EU countries must ensure that public sector websites and mobile applications meet common accessibility standards. MEPs also ensured that apps used on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, must comply with the new rules.
Marlene Mizzi said: “Digital age can be challenging for people with disabilities and in particular for visually impaired people. Only in Europe, there are 80 million Europeans who are visually impaired or live with other disabilities and this number is expected to increase to 120 million by 2020. This Directive is a positive step towards addressing the social dimensions of the digital single market and of a truly inclusive digital society.
“People with disabilities can find it difficult to browse on some websites that do not include alternative text for images or captions describing sound in a video. In light of the digital revolution and re-modelling public sectors making them dependant on the digital services, it is important to ensure that official websites can offer everyone a vital access to various public services,” said MEP Mizzi.
“More than ever we need rules showing people the good and positive ways in which a European legislation can change their lives and day-to-day activities for the better”.