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POLAND: Accessibility Plus

Yesterday, the Council of Ministers approved a programme called Accessibility Plus that will aim to redesign public infrastructure on a massive scale. The government has earmarked some PLN 23 billion until the end of 2025 to improve public spaces, with the elderly and people with mobility impairments in mind. This programme is one of five presented by Prime Minister Morawiecki in April during a PiS convention and is part of a policy push ahead of the local elections. It also comes as a response to protests of parents of disabled children in the parliament some time back. The significance of the programme is not just the scale of funds but the way they will be allocated. Usually, local governments in less-developed parts of Poland’s do not prioritize investments into accessibility features in public spaces. Accessibility Plus will allocate funds directly, so that a local government cannot reallocate them. Changes to public spaces and in public institutions are likely to become visible in the next months and years. Through this, PiS is also hoping to reinforce support for their party among the elderly.