Legal requirements


There are many, national and supranational, regulations and standards to meet in digital distance education. Here are the most relevant that apply within the European union.

Key tips

EU Charter of Fundamental Rights
  • Most relevant articles are:
    • 14 on the Right to education. “Everyone has the right to education and to have access to vocational and continuing training.”
    • 21 on Non-discrimination. “Any discrimination based on any ground such as, among other, disability shall be prohibited.”
  • EU Charter of Fundamental Rights by European Commission.
EU Web Accessibility Directive (WAD)
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  • This regulation applies to all organisations within the EU that process personal data. It requires a continuous process for reviewing and updating data handling procedures to ensure ongoing compliance.
  • Consequences of infringements, aside of reputational damage to the institution and risk of individual legal actions from individuals affected, may result in a fine of up to €20 million or up to 4% of the annual worldwide turnover.
  • Some key considerations for complying with GDPR:
  • Legal basis: a valid legal consent is required for personal data processing.
  • Data minimisation: only the necessary personal data is collected and processed for the specific purpose of the delivery of distance education and it is deleted when it is no longer needed.
  • Transparency: clear information about what personal data is being collected, how it is used and the external entities that have access to it.
  • Data security: technical and organisational measures to protect the personal data from unauthorised access, alteration or loss. This includes policies for reporting data breaches to supervisory authorities and to the owners whose rights might have been violated.
The Marrakesh Treaty
  • This is a multinational agreement to make printed publications available for people with a visual impairment or reading disability.
  • The treaty makes it possible to create alternative versions of the publication that suit people who cannot see well, read and learn just like everyone else.
  • Marrakesh Treaty by WIPO.
  • Summary of the Treaty by WIPO.
Specific EU member states regulations
  • Spain: The Organic Law of Education (LOE) establishes the obligation of the educational institutions to guarantee the accessibility, adaptability and inclusion of the students with disabilities and also to provide the necessary resources and accommodations.