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What are the rules?

The new Web Accessibility Directive (Directive (EU) 2016/2102) sets out rules on making public sector websites and mobile apps accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities.


There are different deadlines for doing this, depending on whether you have a site or an app, and when it was published.


New websites (published on or after 23 September 2018) – by 23 September 2019


The added benefit is that accessible content is more easily found in search engines like Google, which promote well-written, properly structured content.

Meeting WCAG 2.1 (AA)

These resources may help you apply WCAG 2.1 (AA):


  • office file formats published before 23 September 2018 (unless needed for active administrative processes relating to the tasks performed by the organisation)
  • pre-recorded video or audio or other ‘time-based media’ published before 23 September 2020
  • live video or audio or other time-based media
  • online maps, as long as key information is provided in an accessible digital way for maps for navigational use
  • third-party content that is not funded or developed by, or under the control of, the organisation concerned
  • reproductions of items in heritage collections that cannot be made fully accessible
  • extranets and intranets – websites that are only available for a closed group of people and not the general public, published before 23 September 2019, until they undergo a substantial revamp
  • archives – sites and apps that contain only content that is not needed for active administrative processes and not edited or updated after 23 September 2019

Writing an accessibility statement

Under the Web Accessibility Directive, EU public sector websites should have an accessibility statement.


For the Commission’s website, DG Communication is responsible for creating and publishing the statement.


It is best to create your content as HTML webpages. But if you do need to upload documents, make sure they are accessible.


Avoid creating content in document form only.


You can use automatic accessibility checkers to help check your site or tool meets the required standards. But you should never rely on tools alone. They’re just the start. Think of them like running the spelling checker in Word.



The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines were produced by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) as part of the web accessibility initiative.


The Directive requires that public sector organisations apply European standard EN 301 549 V2.1.2 (2018‑08) to their websites and online tools. This standard is based on the latest version of the guidelines, WCAG 2.1, conformance level AA.

Contact and support

Need further assistance on this topic? Please contact the Europa Web Communication team in charge of Europa Domain Management (EU Login required)