The EU Disability Card

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The EU Disability Card – History and Background

In its Communication of 3 March 2021 on an EU Disability Rights Strategy for 2021-2030, the European Commission announced that, by the end of 2023, it will propose an EU-wide Disability Card, as an instrument of mutual recognition of the disability status, building on the experience of the ongoing pilot project as well as on that of the European parking card for persons with disabilities.

Feedback from the EU Disability Card Pilot Project

EBU asked two of its’ members from countries in the pilot project, to offer some feedback and impressions on the experience, which can hopefully inform future work. Our thanks to Charlotte Santens from Ligue Braille in Belgium, and EBU Secretary General Maria Kyriacou from Cyprus for this valuable input.

Setting out the EBU position on the EU Disability Card and what we would like for the future

EBU warmly welcomes the announcement in the new Disability Rights Strategy of an EU-wide European Disability Card as one of the “flagship initiatives”. EBU also welcomes the commitment to present a proposal for the card by the end of 2023. Indeed, the Disability Card can play a very positive role in ensuring the effective free movement in the EU of persons with disabilities.

For the past few years, EBU has been following the experience of the ongoing European Disability Card pilot project in eight Member States and is fully aware of the benefits and limitations of the scheme based on feedback from its national member organisations in those eight Member States.

The European Disability Card - A wider perspective from the European Disability Forum (EDF)

The new Disability Rights Strategy 2021-2030 was published by the European Commission in March 2021, after several years of intense advocacy by EDF and our members, including EBU. One of the key items that we wanted to see included was the European Disability Card – and we succeeded! The Card will be one of the “Flagship Initiatives”, that means it is one of the most important and visible action, of the new Disability Rights Strategy. And more: the European Commission promises to deliver the Card by the end of 2023.

Interviewing Miriam Lexmann, Member of the European Parliament (EPP Group, Christian Democratic Movement, Slovakia) and in particular of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee, on the EU Disability Card

Our thanks to MEP Lexmann and her team for their participation in this newsletter.