The single most important challenge for Europe in the coming decades, is the ageing of its population. The Welfare states that characterize the European model, have been built on a young, growing population after the last world war. Tensions on economic growth, on the social policies and public finances are growing in Europe. This also affects all economic areas, from equipment to fast moving consumer goods.

The European Commission and national governments have clearly identified the issue and the need to improve the built environment, to make it more accessible and accommodate with a growing population of senior citizens and people with disabilities, whether permanent or temporary.

Lifts, platform lifts and escalators must be and are at the core of the vertical accessibility of European citizens. ELCA is very much aware of the efforts deployed by the Social policies directorate at DG Justice, to produce the European “Accessibility Act” that would define the basic needs of the 21st century built environment. The whole world is watching Europe, in its efforts to be fully accessible to all citizens. This includes access for all to the last floor of each building, but it must also mean the well thought-out egress of all in case of fire or other catastrophe. The ELCA experts are very much aware of the challenges and costs this represents for our advanced societies.

A table presenting the situation in the different countries of Europe and the accession countries, including Europe, has been produced by the joint efforts of all associations in the lift & escalator industry (ELCA, EPSA, EFESME and ELA). It has been communicated to the European Commission and is available to all on this website. It is regularly upgraded.