EU Introduces Universal Disability Card for Proof of Disability

European Disability Forum Photo

The European Disability Card (EDC) recently approved by the European Parliament offers special privileges to people with disabilities. This card serves as proof of disability status across all EU countries and provides cardholders with benefits such as free or discounted entry to cultural attractions, priority access, personal assistance, and mobility aids

National authorities in each member state will issue the EDC, and eligibility criteria will be determined individually. The card will be available in both physical and digital formats. The goal is to promote equal access to free movement within the EU. The EDC has already been piloted in eight countries: Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Italy, Malta, Romania, and Slovenia. Additionally, an improved version of the EU parking card will replace the existing one, aiming for a consistent format across member states to enhance recognition.

The European Disability Card (EDC) aims to improve access for people with disabilities. It ensures privileges such as extended parking spaces, reserved parking, and reduced fees. Both the EDC and an improved EU parking card will be issued or renewed free of charge, although the parking card may require a small administrative fee in some cases.

Fine Gael MEP Maria Walsh from Midlands-North West highlighted the current disparity: Irish individuals with disabilities traveling to Spain do not have guaranteed access to priority parking, reserved seating, or discounted travel, unlike their Spanish counterparts. The EDC seeks to address this inequality, promoting true freedom of movement for all.

Cardholders will enjoy various benefits, including public transport passes, free cultural venue tickets, and gym and swimming pool discounts, regardless of their location. Ms. Walsh urgently called on the Irish Government to adopt the EDC and begin its implementation in the coming months.

Source: New European Disability Card will act as proof of disability across EU | Irish Independent