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Europe Approves Standardised Disabled Parking Permit



MEPs on Wednesday gave the green light to the EU Disability Card and the European Parking Card for people with disabilities.

The new rules, approved by 613 votes in favour, 7 against and 11 abstentions and already agreed by Parliament and the Council, create an EU-wide disability card to ensure that people with disabilities have equal access to preferential conditions, such as reduced or no entry fees, priority access and access to reserved parking.

Both cards will give their holders, as well as their companions and support animals, access to most of the same conditions as national cardholders. The new rules will only apply to short-term stays and disability card holders moving to another Member State for a mobility programme, such as Erasmus+.

European Disability Card

The European Disability Card will be issued in physical format and, when available, in digital format, and will be free (including its renewal). Countries will decide whether to collect it in case of loss or deterioration.

European Parking Card for people with disabilities

The European Parking Card for people with disabilities will be issued in physical format. Countries may charge for the administrative costs of issuing and renewing the card.

Access to information

The Directive requires EU countries and the Commission to publicise the cards, in particular by creating a centralised European website. This website will be linked to national websites, with information on how to obtain, use and renew the cards and information on preferential conditions.

Third country nationals in the EU

The House also gave its approval to the provisional agreement between Parliament and the Council on the extension of EU disability and parking cards to third-country nationals legally residing in the EU, by 607 votes in favour, 8 votes against. against and 17 abstentions.

This proposal allows both cards to be issued to third-country nationals legally residing in Member States, including asylum seekers and stateless persons, and to their personal assistants, regardless of their nationality.

Since Brexit, the UK is a third country, and so this agreement from Europe improves the availability for British nationals living legally in the EU but does not extend to those who are not residents. UK-issued disabled parking permits are still not recognised as per the choice made by the UK Government.

Speaker’s statement

Lucia Iuriš Nicholsonová (Renew, Slovakia) said: ‘The EU must advocate for equal rights for people with disabilities within the EU. I am particularly proud that the cards now cover stays of more than three months so that people with disabilities have access to it when studying abroad. The importance of the European Disability Card goes beyond simply facilitating travel; demonstrates the EU’s commitment to guaranteeing free movement for all Europeans.

Next steps

The agreed text will also have to be formally adopted by the Council before its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union and its entry into force.

With the adoption of these proposals, Parliament responds to citizens’ expectations regarding the fight against discrimination, equality and quality of life and inclusive labour markets, as expressed in proposals 29 and 14 of the conclusions of the Conference on the Future of Europe.



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