The European Commission is proposing a legislative initiative for the European Disability Card to help people with disabilities move freely within the EU. The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has recommended the card be established through a regulation to ensure consistency in its application and avoid differences in implementation at the national level. The EESC believes the card will function as a European Disability Passport and provide access to necessary services and benefits, eliminating barriers for people with disabilities. A pilot project between 2016 and 2019 in eight member states demonstrated the feasibility of the card and its benefits to users. The card enabled easier mobility, boosted participation in culture and leisure sectors and improved tourism experiences abroad.
- raises concerns over the lack of mutual recognition of disabilities among EU Member States, stating that it is impeding the ability of persons with disabilities to access support measures when travelling to other countries within the union. This is seen as a fundamental violation of their freedom of movement, a core value of the EU.
- recommends the implementation of an EU Disability Card by way of a new regulation. The Committee is also urging the full involvement of persons with disabilities and their organisations in every step of the implementation and monitoring process. Complementary measures should also be taken to ensure that transport, services and built environments are accessible to all, while remaining in compliance with data protection regulations.
- calls for the physical separation of the EU Disability Card and EU Parking Card to enhance accessibility and for making it easier for persons with disabilities to navigate transportation systems and access public services.
The text of the draft opinion can be found here.
Section: Section for Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship (SOC)
Opinion type: Exploratory opinion – Commission
Rapporteur: Ioannis VARDAKASTANIS
Date of adoption by section: 03/04/2023
Result of the section meeting vote: 59 in favour, 2 against, 1 abstention
Date of adoption in plenary: 26-27/04/2023
Results of the vote: 135 in favour, 2 against, 3 abstentions
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