The European Commission delivered a legislative proposal that will facilitate access to the right to free movement for persons with disabilities, by making sure they can, on an equal basis, access special conditions, preferential treatment, and parking rights when visiting another Member State. The Commission’s proposal introduces a standardised European Disability Card and enhances the current European Parking Card for persons with disabilities. Both cards will be recognised throughout the EU.

When people’s disability status is not recognised abroad, they cannot access the special conditions and preferential treatment, such as free and/or priority access, reduced fees or personal assistance, while visiting other member states. To address this issue, the Commission proposes the creation of a standardised European Disability Card.

The European Disability Card will serve as recognised proof of disability throughout the EU, granting equal access to special conditions and preferential treatment in public and private services, including for instance transport, cultural events, museums, leisure and sport centres, or amusement parks. It will be issued by the national competent authorities and complement existing national cards or certificates.

For many persons with disabilities, private car transport remains the best or only possibility for travel and getting around independently, ensuring their autonomy. The proposed improvements to the current European Parking Card will allow persons with disabilities to access the same parking rights available in another Member State. It will have a binding common format that will replace national parking cards for persons with disabilities and be recognised throughout the EU. The proposed directive establishing the European Disability Card and the European Parking Card for persons with disabilities was announced in the EU Strategy for the rights of persons with disabilities 2021-2030