Employment and Social Affairs MEPs endorse agreement on EU Disability Card

European Disability Forum

On Tuesday, MEPs endorsed at committee level the provisional agreement on the EU Disability Card and the European Parking Card for persons with disabilities.

The new rules, already agreed on by the Parliament and the Council, will establish an EU-wide disability card to make sure that, when travelling for a short period, persons with disabilities have equal access to preferential conditions, such as reduced or zero entry fees, priority access and access to reserved parking.

The provisional agreement was adopted by the committee with 39 votes in favour, no votes against and 1 abstention.

European Disability Card

The European Disability Card will be issued in physical format and, when available, in digital format, and will be issued and renewed free of charge. Depending on the country, costs could be charged for loss and damaging the card. Persons with disabilities that need more assistance or support or that are entitled to support by a personal assistant will be able to add the letter “A” to their card.

European Parking Card for persons with disabilities

The European Parking Card for persons with disabilities will be issued in physical form. EU countries are encouraged to also issue the card in a digital format, and may choose to charge a fee for the administrative costs of issuing and renewing the card.

Access to information

The directive demands EU countries and the Commission to raise citizens’ awareness about the cards, including by setting up a central European website. This website will be linked with national websites, containing information on how to obtain, use and renew the cards and information on preferential conditions.

Third-country nationals in the EU

The Employment Committee, together with the Civil Liberties Committee, also endorsed the provisional agreement between Parliament and Council on the extension of the EU Disability and Parking Cards to third-country nationals legally residing in the EU with 67 votes in favour, no votes against and 1 abstention.

This proposal extends both cards to third-country nationals, including asylum-seekers, legally residing in the member states, as well as stateless persons and their personal assistants, regardless of their nationality. It also ensures that relevant information is available in language that third-country nationals can understand.

Lucia Ďuriš Nicholsonová (Renew, SK), rapporteur, said: “I am particularly proud of having succeeded in broadening the scope of the cards to extend beyond stays shorter than three months. This crucial improvement means that individuals with disabilities will have access to the card for the entire duration abroad. I urge member states to swiftly implement this directive, ensuring its benefits reach those who need it most without delay.”

Both agreements still need to be endorsed by the full Parliament during the 22-25 April plenary session. They then need to be formally adopted by the Council before publication in the Official Journal of the European Union and entry into force.

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