On the 9th July, the European Commission released a study assessing the implementation of the EU Disability Card pilot. This pilot project was financed under the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme 2014 – 2020. The pilot project on EU Disability Card was implemented in eight countries (Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Italy, Malta, Romania, and Slovenia) during the period of 2016 to 2018.
The purpose of the pilot project was to assess the Card’susefulness and cost effectiveness for ensuring the provision of services and benefits to persons with disabilities when travelling across the EU, to promote their rights and support the voluntary mutual recognition of their disability status.
The study evaluates the project and provided with several recommendations for the EU Member States when implementing the Card:
– The Card should cover four sectors: culture, leisure, sport and transport.
– Participation of national service providers should be mandatory, and service providers offering benefits to nationals with disabilities prior to the Card’s introduction should also offer the same benefits to foreign cardholders with disabilities.
– Service providers should follow and/or implement clear accessibility standards published by the European Commission, and national law enforcement authorities should ensure that the services offered by providers are accessible in accordance with legal obligations.
– Use of the Card should be regularly monitored at relevant levels and the European Commission should provide the Member States with a standard format to collect monitoring data; and
– Consistency should be ensured in the provision of information about the Card.
Currently, there is no mutual recognition of disability status for persons with disabilities among the EU Member States. EUD is looking forward to start working on the new EU Disability Card which, if ambitiously developed, would have a great potential to introduce the mutual recognition of disability status and improve access to services and benefits across the EU.