IMPACT ASSESSMENT OF THE POLICIES AND THE LEGISLATION GOVERNING THE ASSURANCE OF ACCESSIBLE ARCHITECTURAL ENVIRONMENT IN BULGARIA

In the middle of May 2017 the Center for Regulatory Impact Assessment and ‘Euroconsultants Bulgaria S.A’ JSC, as partners in the consortium “EuroRia” began the implementation of a public procurement with a subject of matter ‘Policy and regulatory impact assessment and evaluation of the monitoring, regarding the assurance of accessible architectural environment in the current buildings and installations, as well as reviewing the possible options for their supplement and/or for introducing new suitable monitoring policies and authorities’, assigned by the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works.

The main objective of the project is preparing a full preliminary impact assessment of the measures of the national policy and regulatory framework, that aim to improve the architectural accessibility in Bulgaria, including for people with disabilities and create the necessary conditions for full implementation of the requirements of the UN Convention on the rights of people with disabilities. The expected results are relevant to the solution of the problems with the accessible architectural environment in Bulgaria, identified by the country and the stakeholders.

The first problem is that the existing buildings and installations for public use, including elements of the physical environment in the urbanized territory, to a great extent are partly or entirely inaccessible for people with reduced mobility or with disability. The UN Convention on the rights of people with disability requires from its member-states to develop, promulgate and perform monitoring on the application of minimal standards and guidelines for accessibility to installations and services, open to/or designed for public use. Moreover, private parties, providing installations and services open to or designed for public use should also comply with all the accessibility requirements.

The second accessibility problem is with the lack of a sufficiently reliable mechanism for effective monitoring, in regard to the accessible environment in the existing buildings and installations for public use; with the deficiency of information for the provided accessibility and with the insufficient stimulation of actions, that  would  fulfill the regulatory requirements for accessibility in the existing buildings and installations for public use.

On 15.09.2017 began a one-month public consultation, which main objective is to establish whether the identified problems are indeed present and to get the stakeholders’ feedback on any other significant problems and challenges in the field of assurance of accessible architectural environment. More information about the public consultation and the ways for participation can be found on the specialized webpage for public consultation of the Center for RIA: PUBLICONSULTATION.

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