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EU Passport for Inclusion: Disability Card Smooths Travel Obstacles

EU Passport for Inclusion: Disability Card Smooths Travel Obstacles

Disability Card
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Key Impact Points:

  • Introduction of an EU-Wide Disability Card: The proposed directive aims to introduce an EU-wide Disability Card, ensuring persons with disabilities receive the same special conditions, including parking, as residents of the member state they are visiting.
  • Revamping the European Parking Card: Alongside the Disability Card, the European Parking Card for persons with disabilities is being revamped for better recognition and ease of travel across EU member states.
  • Accessibility and Issuance Timeframes: MEPs propose both cards to be available in physical and digital formats, issued free of charge, with a Disability Card issued within 60 days and a Parking Card within 30 days of application.
  • Extended Coverage and Awareness: The directive aims to cover EU citizens and third-country nationals residing in the EU, including those moving for work or study, and emphasizes raising awareness about these cards.

The new rules would make it easier for persons with disabilities to travel in the EU by ensuring access to special conditions, including parking, in all member states.

The proposed directive introduces an EU-wide Disability Card and revamps the European Parking Card for persons with disabilities to make sure that, when travelling for a short period, they have access to the same special conditions as those residing in that member state, including access to parking. Persons with disabilities regularly encounter barriers when travelling or visiting another member state as their disability status is not always recognised across the EU.

Both cards will be for EU citizens whose disability status and rights are recognised by the member state they reside in, their family members, and those accompanying or assisting them. To ensure third country nationals who reside in the EU are covered, the Commission put forward a complementary proposal.

The Employment and Social Affairs Committee unanimously adopted its position on the proposed law by 39 votes in favour, no votes against and no abstentions.

Free of charge, format, and deadlines

MEPs propose that the disability card should be issued or renewed within 60 days of someone applying for it and the parking card within 30 days. They also introduce the option of requesting a digital version of the parking card, to be ready in 15 days.

Both cards would be available in physical and digital format and free of charge, MEPs propose. They also want the rules and conditions to apply for the card to be available in accessible formats, also in national and international sign languages and braille, and in easily understandable language.

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Recognition of disability status for work, study, and Erasmus

To ensure access to benefits and social assistance for those working or studying in another member state, MEPs amended the proposal to temporarily protect European Disability Card holders that move to another member state for work or study, until their status is formally recognised, including those travelling for an EU mobility programme, such as Erasmus.


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