Skip To main content

GAAD 2024:

Celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) with us all month long |

Visit the GAAD hub.

EN 301 549 Compliance

Digital accessibility is a top priority for governments across Europe—in fact, it’s a legal mandate. Under EN 301 549, all public-sector organizations in Europe must ensure that their digital technology (including websites, software, electronic devices, and mobile apps) conforms with specific accessibility standards. Additionally, any businesses selling digital products into Europe’s public sector need to meet EN 301 549’s accessibility requirements. EN 301 549 has been adopted in all 28 European Union (EU) member states, three European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries (Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland), and two EU candidate countries (Turkey and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia). Public-sector organizations that fail tocomply with this legislation may face fines or other legal penalties, while private-sector organizations limit procurement opportunities.

Get a free risk assessment

WCAG: The standard for EN 301 549 compliance

As of 2018, EN 301 549 has adopted the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines as its baseline for compliance.

What is WCAG?

WCAG was developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) with input from individuals and organizations from around the world. It provides a set of technical standards that make online content accessible for all users, including people with disabilities. Beyond EN 301 549, WCAG has become the global benchmark for validating a website or digital product’s state of accessibility.


WCAG guidelines are based on four principles, often referred to with the acronym “POUR”:

  • Perceivable: It’s important to present information that can be perceived in different ways, where a user can adjust color contrast or font size, or view captions for videos.
  • Operable: If someone can’t use a mouse, for example, they can use a keyboard or voice command.
  • Understandable: Information and instructions are clear and navigation methods are easy to understand and use.
  • Robust: Content must be robust enough so that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of users and types of assistive technologies.

WCAG conformance levels

There are three levels of WCAG conformance: A, AA, and AAA. Level A refers to the lowest level of conformance (minimum) and Level AAA is the highest (maximum). Compliance with EN 301 549 requires conformance with WCAG version 2.1 AA standards.

Download our WCAG Checklist

Ensure your technology is EN 301 549 compliant

Level Access has over two decades of experience helping organizations across sectors and industries achieve compliance with accessibility laws, including EN 301 549. Our unified solution combines advanced technology with manual testing, training, and legal expertise to help you swiftly meet compliance requirements and provideequitable experiences for all users.

Get expert help today

Request a free risk assessment

Our risk assessment will help you understand your digital accessibility health score and your current level of EN 301 549 compliance.

Frequently asked questions

What is EN 301 549?

EN 301 549 is a European accessibility law. Much like Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act in the United States, it requires that websites, software, electronic devices, and mobile apps be accessible to all users, including people with disabilities. It applies directly to public-sector organizations in Europe, and impacts private-sector organizations selling into Europe’s public sector.

In 2018, EN 301 549 adopted the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 AA as the standard for accessibility. Compliance with EN 301 549 means conformance with WCAG 2.1 AA.